Michael Essien will miss the group stage of Chelsea FC's UEFA Champions League campaign after undergoing surgery on his damaged right knee.
The Ghanaian international sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus during the London club's first week of pre-season training and, although his operation is said to have been successful, the 28-year-old may be sidelined until January.
"Everyone at Chelsea wishes Michael well for his recovery," said Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas. "His team-mates and all the staff look forward to helping him return as soon as possible."
The injury comes as a blow to both Chelsea and the midfielder, for whom this is a third serious knee injury in as many years. Essien, who has made 149 Premier League appearances, missed much of the 2008/09 campaign due to cruciate ligament damage and also suffered a medial ligament problem at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations Cup which kept him out of that year's FIFA World Cup.
Chelsea will enter the UEFA Champions League group stage after finishing runners-up in the Premier League.
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