Sunderland have confirmed that defender John Mensah's African Nations Cup dream is over as he prepares to head back England.

The 27-year-old jetted off to meet up with his Ghana team-mates for their pre-tournament training camp after the 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw at Blackburn on December 28.

But he did so nursing the hamstring injury he had suffered in the 1-1 draw with Everton two days earlier which prevented him from playing any part at Ewood Park.

Ghana skipper Mensah always knew he would miss his country's opening game in Angola, against Togo next Monday, but had hoped to be fit to resume later in their campaign.

However, he has now been forced to admit defeat and will return to Wearside for treatment.

Mensah joined the Black Cats on a season-long loan deal from Lyon during the summer, but injuries have to date limited him to just seven appearances.

Calf problems have been a particular concern and the club's medics believe a back condition may be at the root of his troubles.

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