MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Michael Essien of Chelsea faces the media during a press conference ahead of their UEFA Champions League quarter final second leg match against Manchester United at Old Trafford on April 11, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Update: Chelsea are claiming that they'll 'clarify' Essien's situation shortly. Something has indeed happened. Cripes.
Well this isn't good news, if true. According to Jody Morris, whom one would expect is being kept up to date with happenings at Chelsea, Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien has suffered a severe knee injury in his first full day of training at Cobham. Morris claims that there's cruciate ligament damage of some sort*, and considering the Bison's past history of issues, this really, really can't be good.
*Which really could mean anything, but serious cases are long term problems.
For now I'm simply holding onto the hope that Morris is mistaken and that things are really all ok, because losing Essien not only has a detrimental effect on the team for next season, it could spell the end of the player we all know and love. There's nothing like a series of knee injuries to sap a guy of his power and speed, and for a man whose game relies on those things and who's missed too much of the last few seasons to knee issues, this is immensely concerning.
Let's hope it's not as big a deal as Morris is making it out to be, because if worst comes to worst this could be an absolute hammer blow to our midfield. The only silver lining is that there's time to make a move to replenish it, but even that has downsides - we may well get sucked in to an overpriced player in an area we didn't want to spend too much on just to replace Essien's potential loss.
Ugh. Get well soon, Michael. Or better yet, please don't be ill at all. Please.