By Patrick Akoto
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah says Sulley Muntari and Michael Essien remain part of his plans for next year’s African Cup of Nations.
The duo did not play a part in the country’s qualification to the continent’s flagship event for varied reasons.
Muntari is recovering speedily from an injury he picked up during a kick-about with friends in Ghana towards the end of June.
The AC Milan man underwent the knife after he damaged his knee ligaments and expected to be back by the end of November.
Essien is slowly rediscovering his form at Spanish giants Real Madrid after suffering three serious injuries.
While the 29-year-old has asked to be excused from international duty, Muntari is anxious to recover fully in time ahead of the tournament in South Africa.
The Ghana boss has insisted he will blend experienced players with youthful exuberance and will not hesistate to recall the duo if they ready for the challenge ahead.
“Sulley and Michael Essien are great players that every nation will like to have,” Appiah said
“It is always good to have experience around some of the young ones. You can’t always depend on the young ones who are coming up.
“You may kill them off when things don’t go well. I am hoping that Sulley gets well so that I can invite him for the November game.
“The same goes for Michael. I have been talking to him but because he’s moved to a new team, I want to give him time to settle.
“As I said, they are great players and there is no way we can write them off. I still believe they have got good football in them and when they are around the young ones, it will help.”
The inclusion of the two players will serve as a real boost for the Black Stars as they attempt to end a 31-year wait for an African crown.
The team last won the Cup of Nations in 1982.