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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Essien out for up to a month

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien will be sidelined for three to four weeks after scans revealed a torn hamstring, the club confirmed on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old was injured in the he first half of Tuesday's 2-2 Champions League draw with Cypriot side APOEL Nicosiam and will be out until next year.

The Ghana international was due to meet up with Black Stars for the African Cup of Nations, which runs from January 10 to January 31, in the new year and his participation has now been called into question.

Essien missed most of last season after rupturing knee ligaments but has been a key member of Carlo Ancelotti's Premier League leaders this term.

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