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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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Essien out for six months, say Chelsea

Chelsea have confirmed that Michael Essien's latest knee injury will keep him on the sidelines for up to six months.

• Essien suffers knee injury, having tests
• Blues blog: Five of the best league games

The Ghana midfielder damaged ligaments in his right knee during a training session last week, the third serious knee blow of his career, and has undergone an operation.

A club statement read: "Following an injury to his right knee in training last week, Michael Essien had surgery today to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus. The surgery was successful and Michael's full recovery could take up to six months."

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas added: "Everyone at Chelsea wishes Michael well for his recovery. His team-mates and all the staff and I look forward to helping him return to playing as soon as possible."

The Blues are now expected to move in the market for a new midfielder, with Joao Moutinho of Porto linked with a reunion with Villas-Boas, and a return of Scott Parker to Stamford Bridge also floated.

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