Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that it will not be until January that we get to see Chelsea's star midfielder Michael Essien back in action.

Michael Essien has been ruled out with an injury for quite some time now, but many were hoping that he will be returning to action in December. However, it has had not happened up until now, as Michael Essien does not seem to have made the sufficient regeneration from the injury. Now, the Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that he may get to see Michael Essien only after a month. This will also crucially ruled him out of the African cup of nations.

Chelsea are set to lose a number of stars due to the African cup of nations, but Michael Essien will not be one who will travel to the African continent to play in this tournament. Michael Essien has been troubled by a number of knee injuries in recent seasons. He injured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the summer, which has kept him out of the side throughout the season. Many were hoping that his return would be the perfect answer for Chelsea's midfield problems as of now, but it seems that Chelsea fans need to wait a little longer.

John obi Mikel has failed to deliver the promise, while Romeu – signed from Barcelona this summer – still lacks experience. In such a situation, the presence of Michael Essien would have seriously strengthened the Chelsea defence, but as it is, manager Villas-Boas has to do with out on the influential Ghanaian during the Christmas fixture list.

"We're looking at mid-January, that's the best we can think about. There was a setback at the beginning of December if I'm not wrong which took him back 10 days and that's extended into January, so I don't think he will go to the African Cup of Nations," said Villas-Boas.