Injury-free Essien ready to give 'everything' for Chelsea

The Ghana international, who is back in favour at Stamford Bridge following the return of Jose Mourinho, believes he has won his battle against injury and is as strong as ever
Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien believes he has overcome a string of injury problems and is now focussed on doing a "good job" for the west London club.

The 30-year-old spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, with his time at Chelsea appearing to be nearing an end, but Jose Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge means the Ghanaian is back in favour.

And, despite a host of morale-sapping injury worries, Essien insists his powerful style remains undiminished and he is ready to give his all for Chelsea in the coming season.

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"When you have these injuries, and I've had eight or nine operations on my knees, it's hard," Essien told reporters.

"I know injuries are part of the game but once you have them you have to relax your mind and work hard to come back.

"I never thought I should stop playing. It never crossed my mind. I just wanted to get back on the pitch. I go with the flow.

"I don't put pressure on myself or anything. I just listen to the doctors and once I'm fit and training I give everything.

"My knees feel fine now. My knees are not giving me any problems. I just have to keep myself fit and get ready to do a good job for the team.

"My style hasn't changed. I'm still the same. When you bump into me you can tell I am still as strong and keeping fit."

Mourinho, who signed Essien during his first stint at Chelsea in 2005 and took him on loan at Madrid last season, believes the 30-year-old is still an excellent player

"He's a great man. He is loyal to me, he is loyal to Chelsea, he is loyal to Madrid, he is loyal to everybody," Mourinho said.

"He is a great man and a very good player and I see him with special motivation.

"He went to Madrid because he was in a difficult situation here. He recovered his happiness and condition and played very important matches."