Essien feels stronger after lay-off


Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has insisted he feels stronger than ever after making his comeback from his latest serious knee injury.

Essien was a surprise substitute in Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Sunderland, having spent six months on the sidelines after rupturing a cruciate ligament in his right knee during pre-season training.

It was the third such major injury in three years for the 29-year-old, but he told Chelsea TV: "It's been a long while but I'm always positive and I knew I would come back stronger. That's what I did and I was happy to be on the pitch again."

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