Ghana midfielder Michael Essien will not recover from an ankle injury until the end of the month, ruling him out of the first half of the African Nations Cup, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed.

“He has a bad injury to the ligaments of his ankle,” Mourinho told reporters at Chelsea’s training ground near London.

“The information I have from the medical department is that the end of the month is his recovery period.”

Mourinho said he hoped Ghana would allow Essien to remain in London to allow Chelsea medical staff to monitor his progress. The midfielder picked up the injury in Chelsea’s 3-1 Premier League win over West Ham United.

Subscribe to World Soccer – The essential football magazine