Essien in limbo
Michael Essien doesn't yet know when he'll make his return and it's even possible that he might not play again this year.
The physical problems that the Ghanaian player is suffering - which have yet to be specified by the medical staff – are preventing him from training with the rest of the team to the point where he can't even make Mourinho's squad list.
The priority now is for him to fully recover and feel fit enough to play again. He'll come back when he's fully back in shape. This is a footballer who tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in 2008 whilst playing with his national team and suffered a relapse in 2011.
Essien's problems started in Mallorca. He'd played 90 minutes in three consecutive games at left-back (Celta, Borussia Dortmund and Mallorca). He limped off the pitch at the Iberostar stadium. The next day he couldn't put his boots on because of the troublesome bunions that were driving him crazy.
He worked very hard to play in Madrid's next four games, against Zaragoza (where he scored a goal), Alcoyano, Borussia Dortmund and Levante. In a few of them, he barely played a few minutes.
However, he decided on 11th November to stop. The various pains haven't subsided and Khedira’s recovery has made it more possible for him to take a much-needed break. the bad news is that he may not play again this year.