Essien ruled out for six months

Chelsea’s Michael Essien has been ruled out for six months with a knee injury.

The Ghana midfielder has undergone surgery after rupturing his cruciate ligament during a pre-season training session.

Essien, 28, is no stranger to knee problems. He missed last year’s World Cup because of one and was sidelined for six months after suffering cruciate damage in 2008.

The player’s latest injury is a setback for new Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, who told the club’s website: “Everyone wishes Michael well for his recovery. I look forward to helping him return to playing as soon as possible.”

Essien has been hugely influential since his £24.4 move to Stamford Bridge from French side Lyon in 2005, helping Chelsea to two Premier League titles and three FA Cups.