ACCRA - Michael Essien says he will return
to international football, after more than a year without
playing for Ghana, but not against England at Wembley next
The Chelsea midfielder's return, after he requested a break
to concentrate on his club career, has been the subject of
intense speculation in recent days but Essien rebuffed stories
that he would line up in March after some 15 months away from
his national team.
"I don't want Ghanaians to believe these stories and then in
March be disappointed that I am not in the team," he said on his
"I will definitely return to the team at some point in the
future, however it won't be for the upcoming games."
Essien, 28, said he had a brief telephone discussion with
Ghana's new coach Goran Stevanovic. "I told him I will
definitely return to the Ghana squad but we didn't talk about
dates and I didn't tell him I was available to play in March,"
Ghana, ranked 15th in the world, play Congo in an African
Nations Cup qualifier in Brazzaville on March 27 and face
England two days later.
"When I decided to take a break I knew some Ghanaians would
be disappointed but I felt at the time it was the right decision
after two horrible injuries."
Essien suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury
in September 2008 while playing against Libya and was out for
six months. He again hurt his knee at the Nations Cup finals in
Angola in January last year and missed the World Cup in South
Africa, where the Black Stars reached the quarter-finals.
He has not played for Ghana since earning his 50th cap
against the Ivory Coast in Cabinda on January 15, 2010.
"Of course I'll be at Wembley to support the team. I am a
Black Stars supporter like any other player. I predict Ghana to
win," he added.
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