Monday 09 January 2012
Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has started his comeback after a serious knee injury by turning out for the club's reserve team.
The 29-year-old Ghanaian has been out for the entire Barclays Premier League season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus during pre-season training in July.
But Essien has started his bid to win back a first-team place with the Blues by playing for 75 minutes in their 3-2 reserve defeat at the hands of West Brom on Monday.
Essien played in his usual central midfield role, and according to the official Chelsea website (chelseafc.com), he emerged unscathed when he was taken off with 15 minute to go and replaced by Connor Clifford.
"It was a comfortable outing for Essien and was another step in his rehabilitation," it said on the Chelsea website.
"He is not yet working with the first team and is expected to be back training with the squad towards the end of the month."
Essien joined Chelsea for £24m from Lyon in August 2005 and has since made 149 Barclays Premier League appearances for the club.