Essien back in Ghana fold

Chelsea star comes out of international lay-off

Essien: Back in Ghana squad for Congo qualifier

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Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has been recalled to Ghana's squad for their African Nations qualifier against Congo in June.

The Black Stars skipper has not figured for his country since suffering an injury at the African Nations in 2010, having suffered from several serious injuries over the past few years of his career.

Essien called time on international football for a brief period, citing those setbacks and a lack of fitness as his reasoning behind the decision.

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He was also missing for the team's march to the quarter-finals of last summer's World Cup, where they were narrowly eliminated by Uruguay and missed out on becoming the first African side to reach the semi-final stage.

However, the 28-year-old is now ready to return to the fray and has been selected by manager Goran Stevanovic in a 24-man squad for the qualifier on June 3rd, and a friendly four days later against South Korea in Seoul.

Gyan suspended

Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is suspended for the match against Congo, but is available for the visit to Korea.

Ghana currently lead the qualifying group with seven points, leading second-placed Sudan on goal difference.

Squad: Richard Kingson (Blackpool) Sammy Adjei (Hearts of Oak), Ernest Sowah (Berekum Chelsea); John Pantsil (Fulham), Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), David Addy (Academica Coimbra), Jonathan Mensah (Granada), Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim), John Mensah (Sunderland), Lee Addy (Red Star Belgrade); Anthony Annan (Schalke), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Michael Essien (Chelsea), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese), Sulley Muntari (Sunderland), Derek Boateng (Getafe), Kevin-Prince Boateng (AC Milan), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Opoku Agyemang (Al-Ahli); Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland), Prince Tagoe (Partizan Belgrade), Dominic Adiyiah (Partizan Belgrade), Emmanuel Clottey (Berekum Chelsea).