Paintsil Is Angola Doubt...Essien, Mensah, Muntari, Appiah To Miss Nations Cup?

The 2009 footballer of the year, John Painstil, could miss the Black Stars' Africa Cup of Nations campaign after picking up an injury playing for his club Fulham on Monday. The defender twisted his knee in their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea. Paintsil had been a key player for Fulham and his departure allowed the league leaders to come from behind and win the game. "Whether John goes to the Nations Cup depends on what his scan results are," Fulham boss Roy Hodgson said. "We'll scan him here because at the moment his knee is sufficiently bad that we wouldn't want to put him on a flight. "When he's fit enough to travel for Ghana to look at him he's welcome to go, we're not trying to keep him out of the African Nations Cup." But Hodgson suggested the injury could be a long-term one. "I'm more concerned that he will miss the rest of the season because I always fear the worst when players twist their knees," he said. If Paintsil does miss the tournament in Angola he will join a growing list of Ghanaian stars who have been ruled out. Captain Stephen Appiah has already conceded defeat in his race to be fit, whilst vice-captain John Mensah missed his club side Sunderland's 2-2 draw with Blackburn with a hamstring strain. Michael Essien has been out of action for the last few weeks and Laryea Kingston is set to miss the competition. Ghana face Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Togo in Group B in Angola. One of the features of the Chelsea - Fulham game was a ferocious battle between Paintsil and the Ivorian Didier Drogba in what both thought would be a warm up for the action in Cabinda. But now Painstil, his coach Milovan Rajevac and Ghana's fans face an anxious wait.