Essien returns to Ghana squad

ACCRA - Michael Essien is set to play for Ghana for the first time in 18 months after being named in the squad for next month's African Nations Cup qualifier against Congo.

Essien has not played for his country since a 45-minute appearance at the last Nations Cup finals in 2010, missing last year's the World Cup due to injury and putting his international career on hold to concentrate on playing for Chelsea.

But he made himself available again last week and has been named in the squad for the match against Congo in Kumasi on June 3 and a friendly in South Korea four days later.

Coach Goran Stevanovic named a 24-man squad, including Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan who is suspended for the Congo game but available for the trip to Asia