Ghana's midfield ace Michael Essien has been ruled out of the World Cup finals in South Africa after failing to recover fully from a knee injury.
The 27-year-old Chelsea star has not featured for his club since December, although he did play for the Black Stars at the African Cup of Nations in January and February.
Essien had hoped to recover in time for the action in South Africa and Ghana head coach Milovan Rajevac had earlier spoken of how crucial to his side's hopes the schemer is.
He commented:"He is one of the best players in the world and the World Cup is an assembly of the best.
"Ghana wants him there, the organisers want him there and the world wants him there.
"Argentina is going and people want to see Lionel Messi, Portugal is going and people want to see Cristiano Ronaldo, Ghana is going and people want to see Essien.
"I am confident he can make it, but if he doesn't make it we have to do without him. There are other young and hungry players who will be equally passionate to play."