Ex-Ghana captain Stephen Appiah insists compatriot Michael Essien remains committed to the Black Stars.
Essien has been excused from next yearâ€™s African Cup of Nations after he pleaded with authorities to allow him to concentrate on club duties for Real Madrid.
Critics have questioned his sense of patriotism and commitment to the national course but Appiah has moved quickly to water down on the growing animosity for the 29-year-old insisting he will return to play for the West African giants.
â€œThe player has gone through a lot serving his country. In 2008, he suffered a career threatening injury during a World Cup qualifier in Libya, which cost him and his club so much,â€ Appiah told Accra-based Happy FM
â€œHe bounced back to play for the national team during the 2010 Nations Cup, and again, he got injured which cost him his place in his club.
Can you imagine if Madrid had not approached him and he lost his place completely at Chelsea?
â€œWe should understand him, he did not say he will not play for Ghana again, letâ€™s give him a break and allow him to settle well,â€ said Appiah.
Essien has promised to avail himself for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers next year.