Michael Essien Closing In On Return

Michael Essien could be in contention for a starting place at Chelsea in as little as two weeks' time as he battles back to full fitness. The Ghana international has not played a part in Chelsea's season after damaging his knee during pre-season training but manager Andre Villas Boas expects to have him available soon. �I think mid-January. He will be introduced to first-team activity in mid-January and contention properly I think we are looking at three weeks for him to gain form and start competing to the level that the others are,� the manager said. �It could take less time if we are positive about it and maybe in two weeks he can reach that level of form to come back for the team. �