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Morning Ticker: Essien out for the year, Silva sidelined and Rio ready for Croatia


With international matches and club fixtures forcing more and more players to deal with double duty, you are starting to see the ramifications of that work load as more and more players are suffering serious injuries.

Here is a rundown on some major injury news, as well as other soccer stories of the day:

Essien out for the rest of the year

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien is set to miss the remainder of the calendar year after suffering a torn ACL while on international duty with Ghana in a match against Libya.

Essien will be out until March at the earliest, a severe blow to both Chelsea and Ghana. Chelsea is still reeling from the missed attempt at signing Robinho while Ghana must now navigate World Cup qualifying without its best player, which shouldn’t be difficult for the rest of the current round, but could be an issue early in 2009.

Valencia’s Silva sidelined

Euro 2008 star David Silva is facing ankle surgery that could keep him out for three months. Silva, who passed up countless transfer opportunities to stay with Valencia, will decide on surgery in the next two weeks to address chronic inflammation in his right ankle that has dogged him since the summer.

Silva’s absence would put a major dent in Valencia’s hopes of being a serious player in La Liga this season. With  Silva and David Villa both back, Valencia had been pegged to be a top four contender in Spain.

Ferdinand looks fit for Croatia

England central defender Rio Ferdinand has traveled with the English national team for its upcoming World Cup qualifier at Croatia after making it through training on Monday. He looks to have overcome neck and back injuries and could start against Croatia in a crucial qualifier that also has plenty of history.

It was Croatia that knocked England out of Euro 2008 qualifying by beating them at Wembley in the final Euro qualifying match. It is now Croatia that stands between England and an automatic berth in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Bayern eyeing Arshavin, City wants Podolski

The transfer window has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean teams still can’t talk transfers.

With the next window just four months away, we are already hearing about some potential January moves, with two new ones emerging on Tuesday. Bayern Munich has its sights set on Russian star Andrei Arshavin while Manchester City is targeting German international and Bayern bench-warmer Lukas Podolski.


That’s all for now. I will be back shortly with some more on tomorrow’s heavy slate of World Cup qualifiers, a piece on the potential USA lineup vs. Trinidad & Tobago, and another Q&A segment so stay tuned for those.

For now, share your thoughts on these and any other soccer stories emerging this morning in the comments section below.


  1. Hopefully Essien is fully fit sooner rather than later. I like it when my team beats Chelski at full strength.

    Every big club in the world should be looking at Podolski. He’s class. Hope he goes to Roma.

  2. Losing Essien is a major blow to Chelsea. Not only was he the best right back in the EPL last year, but when he does line up in the central midfield, he’s the only one of their big names who is a real stopper on defense.

    Makelele is a bit over the hill, but will be sorely missed.

  3. That’s a vicious start to the season for Chelsea. Essien out. Ballack in and out with nagging injuries. Mikel hurt or sick or something. Hell, they had Belletti playing central def. MF in their third game of the year. That’s why the top clubs get so many players…to compete on several fronts, depth is key.

    Shame about Essien, he is SUCH a good team member. Never a bad word, plays every game like it’s his last (poor choice of words).

  4. I agree this must come as a huge blow for Chelsea, who are quite threadbare in central midfield. They’re probably going to have to bring in some more cover for Deco, Frank Lampard, and Michael Ballack, or come January, the stacked midfields of teams like Stoke and Wigan are going to start to tear them to pieces.

    Obviously, nobody wants to lose Michael Essien, but if there’s a team and a position that can cope with it, it’s Chelsea and it’s in central midfield.

  5. Re: Essien. Argh!

    Joe Cole still hasn’t fully recovered from his ACL, so who knows when Essien will be back at full strength.

    The one thing that softens the blow is that Essien is, at his best, a central midfielder, which is where Chelsea is strongest. Still, he is so versitile, this is a big blow.


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