Essien faces four-week lay-off

Chelsea have confirmed that midfielder Michael Essien will be out for up to four weeks with a hamstring tear.

That could put the Ghana midfielder’s participation in January’s African Nations Cup in jeopardy. The tournament runs from January 10-31 and Essien faces a fight to be fit in time for the big kick-off in Angola.

Essien suffered the injury moments after scoring the equalising goal against APOEL in the Blues’ final Champions League Group D game at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

Chelsea, who had already won the group, were held to a 2-2 draw by the Cypriot minnows and the Blues have now confirmed that Essien will be missing until the new year.

A Chelsea spokesman said: “Michael Essien underwent an examination on the injury he suffered in last night’s Champions League game. Results of scans show a tear in his right hamstring. Essien is expected to be out for three to four weeks.

Essien joins Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou, who has a hamstring problem, on the sidelines.

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