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Mensah's Nations Cup Hopes Hangs in the Balance   
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Ghana stand-in skipper John Mensah's hopes of playing at the African Cup of Nations hangs perilously in the balance after being ruled out of action for at least two weeks.

Doctors of his English side Sunderland have revealed that hewill need at most three weeks to recover from the weekend's hamstring injury. With the continental tournament in Angola starting in twoweeks' time, the optimistic prognosis means he can recover for Ghana's openinggame against Togo on 11 January.

But the pessimistic prognosis which rules him out for threeweeks means he will only be available for the last group game against BurkinaFaso on 19 January. His absence will be a huge blow to the title aspirations ofthe Black Stars as he is the most trusted defender and leader in the absence ofinjured Stephen Appiah.

Michael Essien is also yet to recover from a hamstringinjury while Laryea Kingston has been ruled out of the tournament because of asimilar setback. The Ghanaian defender was disappointed to hear the news fromhis doctors and will now have to wait for the response from Ghana coach MilovanRajevac

"I'm quite disturbed about the news. I am still talkingto the coach (Rajevac) to see how things will go", Mensah said on hispersonal website. While still holding out hope to serve his country, Mensah ishoping he can recover to play for the Black Stars at least after the firstmatch against Togo.

This couild also lead to coach Milovan Rajevac tinkeringwith his squad with the 31 December Caf deadline looming.Essien is expected to recover well time for the start of thetournament.

Source: ghanasoccernet

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