Sleeping Michael Essien (PHOTO)

Will the Bison ever wear Black Star colours? We’ll know in just over a week, according to the Real Madrid and Chelsea midfielder himself. Michael Essien took a temporary retirement from the Black Stars in 2010 following a succession of injuries sustained while on national assignment . The powerhouse had revealed at the time that he will concentrate his efforts on the Blues as he aimed to stay injury-free after spending more than six months on the sidelines with a knee injury. But after seeking permission to stay out of Ghana’s 2012 and 2013 campaigns in the African Cup of Nations, the player has revealed that his decision on whether to return will be known very shortly. “Let me come down and finish my charity game,” he told Citi FM on Thursday. Michael Essien’s charity game comes off on June 8 and has been dubbed The Game of Hope. The player’s foundation say the game is here to “inspire the youth in our communities, to give them a future to look forward to, full of hope and aspiration, a future where everyone has the opportunity not only to dream but to see that dream become reality.” But with attention focusing on the world stars who will be assembling in Accra for that huge game, the Bison has further increased interest by hinting at an announcement on his future. “I will announce the rest about whether I am coming or not after the game. We’ll talk about that after.” The 29-year-old had sustained the knee injury while playing for Ghana at the African Cup of Nations in Angola and in an attempt to prevent the same from happening again, he put his international career on hold. Ghana will play three crucial qualifying games before the end of the year against Sudan, Lesotho (both in June) and Zambia in September. At the time, Essien had said: “I think I will be taking a break. Not retiring, just not playing for time. I have to take the right decision for myself,” he said. The former Bastia and Lyon ace was expected to return to the national set-up during Milovan Rajevac’s tenure, but he demurred. At the time, Essien also defended his decision by saying he will not be missed too much based on Ghana's performance in the 2010 World Cup, which saw players like Kevin Prince Boateng, Anthony Annan and Andre Ayew come to the fore. “I don't know whether they will be disappointed because they have done fine without me,” he had said. Despite Ghana’s current rich crop of midfielders, many pundits believe he still will be a quality addition to a side loaded with talent but still despairingly lacking in silverware.