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. ”