Essien set to boost Blues title tilt

Chelsea's title hopes are set for a boost with the news that midfielder Michael Essien could be back in first-team action next month. The versatile Ghanaian has missed the majority of the season after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in August, but has now returned to light training.   And he has been included in the Blues's Champions League knockout squad, making him available for the latter stages of the tournament should Chelsea progress past Juventus in the last 16. "According to [rehabilitation physio Thierry] Laurent, it should not take more than one month for me to play actively again," Essien told 90minutes. "He has assured me that once we go through a few other exercises for two or three weeks, I should be fit enough to return to the pitch." Essien also welcomed the arrival of temporary coach Guus Hiddink, who has been appointed at Stamford Bridge on a deal until the end of the season following the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari, and believes the Dutchman can guide the west London outfit to success this season. "Hiddink has been around for quite a while and knows what it takes to get positive results out of nothing," he said. "He is a fantastic manager, so we hope he will bring the magic to give us the strength we need to mount a challenge in all competitions." CHELSEA FANS! Check’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: One on One Gianfranco Zola, Nicolas Anelka Boy's A Bit Special Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair Perfect XI Ruud Gullit, Marcel Desailly Sing When You’re Winning Vidal Sassoon And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Ruud Gullit on Weekend Wonders and Chelsea on Talentspotter