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Essien returns for Chelsea in reserves match

Updated: January 09, 2012, 12:49

LONDON(AP) Ghana midfielder Michael Essien made his return after six months out with a serious knee injury in a Chelsea reserve-team match on Monday.

Essien came through unscathed after playing 75 minutes of the 3-2 loss to West Bromwich Albion as he closes in on a return to Chelsea's first team for the second half of the season.

The 29-year-old Essien has been sidelined since July, when he underwent surgery after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee in preseason training - his third serious knee injury.

He didn't return to fitness in time to make Ghana's squad for the African Cup of Nations, which starts on Jan. 21.

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