Ghana’s Michael Essien has been ruled out of the World Cup, according to the country’s football association (GFA).
The Chelsea midfielder has been struggling with injury and has been told he will not regain fitness until the end of July.
The GFA said that the decision was taken after a joint evaluation of his fitness by them and his club.
Essien has been keen to play down speculation about his chances of making the World Cup.
“If I make it for the World Cup then great – if not I have my whole career ahead of me,” he told Chelsea’s official website in April.
“The last thing I want is to rush back and cause more problems down the line.”
Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac had been publicly optimistic but also insisted that the squad can still prosper without Essien.
“There are other young and hungry players who will be equally passionate to play,” he said recently.
Ghana are in Group D at the World Cup, along with Germany, Australia and Serbia.