Ghana head coach Milovan Rajevac says that Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has decided to take a break from international football to concentrate on regaining top fitness.
The 27-year-old missed the World Cup finals earlier this year due to a serious knee injury, but has returned to the fold for the Blues at the start of the new domestic season.
However, he asked Rajevac to omit him from the Black Stars' plans for the opening games of their 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.
Rajevac told reporters:"He contacted me and wanted to ask for permission to be excused for a while.
"I understood his thoughts and, of course, I wanted to help him to get into his old form, to start playing regularly and I gave that permission.
"I'm sure that after some time he will come back to the national team."