Essien has returned to action for Cheslea Cheslea midfielder Joe Cole fears http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-home/related-41270-articles-reviews/Michael+Essien/related.do Michael Essien http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-home/related-14787-articles-reviews/Joe+Cole/related.do 's long-term absence through injury may have wrecked their bid for the Premier League title.
Essien, the Ghanaian enforcer, has made a stunning return to action after spending almost seven months on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury, scoring in each of his last two matches and giving the Blues a new dimension in midfield.
And Cole - who is likely to be out for the rest of the campaign with a similar injury - was left to lament Essien's spell on the sidelines as Guus Hiddink 's men try to close the four-point gap on League leaders http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-home/related-7067-articles-reviews/Manchester+United+FC/related.do Manchester United http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-home/related-35497-articles-reviews/Guus+Hiddink/related.do .
Cole said: "Essien would have made a difference.
"What we've missed is that little bit of pace in the midfield this year. Any team would miss him because he's our engine room."
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