Michael Essien to return slowly

Michael Essien
© PA Photos
Chelsea believe that Michael Essien may not return to first-team action until next month.

Chelsea have admitted that Michael Essien will have to take his time returning to first-team action for the club.

The Ghana international managed to play 75 minutes against a West Brom reserves side but the 29-year-old is determined not to rush his recovery.

Essien has not played a part in Chelsea's season due to a knee ligament injury picked up in July.

The West London club believe that the former Lyon midfielder may not return until next month.

Andre Villas-Boas's side are currently fourth in the Premier League.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City44001001012
2Crystal Palace43018539
3Leicester CityLeicester42208538
4Swansea CitySwansea42207438
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd42113217
6Arsenal42113307
7Liverpool421123-17
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham42029636
9Everton41215415
10Southampton41215505
11Bournemouth411256-14
12Aston Villa411245-14
13Chelsea411269-34
14Norwich CityNorwich411258-34
15West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom411236-34
16Tottenham HotspurSpurs403134-13
17Watford403124-23
18Stoke CityStoke402235-22
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle402225-32
20Sunderland4022610-42