Essien in­jury a big blow for Chelsea

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

CHELSEA mid­fielder Michael Essien will be out of action for be­tween four and six weeks be­cause of the knee in­jury he sus­tained at the African Cup of Na­tions.

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti con­firmed the ab­sence yes­ter­day ahead of his team’s FA Cup match at Pre­ston.

Essien tore his menis­cus dur­ing train­ing with Ghana last Sun­day and re­turned to Chelsea for treat­ment.

But Ancelotti said that if the club could cope with Essien’s ab­sence at the African Cup of Na­tions, they can cope with him be­ing in­jured.

“Maybe we lose him for one month,” Ancelotti said. “It’s not good news, but I think that we will do a good job again.”

Chelsea trail Arse­nal only on goal dif­fer­ence in the Premier League and have a game in hand on the leaders.

Ancelotti said he does not want to sign a re­place­ment dur­ing the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow and de­nied ru­mors by Bri­tish me­dia that he was in­ter­ested in sign­ing for­mer Arse­nal mid­fielder Mathieu Flamini from AC Mi­lan – the club Ancelotti left at the end of last sea­son.

“We don’t need to add,” Ancelotti said.

Ancelotti also ex­pects Joe Cole to stay with the club de­spite the mid­fielder hav­ing not yet signed a new con­tract to re­place the one that ex­pires at the end of the sea­son.

Cole is free to ne­go­ti­ate with other clubs and could leave on a free trans­fer.

Ancelotti says the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional is an im­por­tant player but that he will not guar­an­tee him a reg­u­lar first-team place to en­tice him to sign.

Ancelotti asked yes­ter­day “what man­ager can guar­an­tee a place ev­ery game to a player? It is im­pos­si­ble.” – Sapa-AP

More soc­cer in­side to­day’s pa­per

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