Essien has been out with a knee injury since the Africa Cup of Nations [Reuters]

Ghana have gambled on the fitness of Sunderland defender John Mensah and included the centre back in their final 23-man squad for the World Cup.

Coach Milovan Rajevac has named Mesnah for the tournament starting on June 11 in South Africa despite a run of injuries over the last year and concern over a ligament strain suffered towards the end of the English Premier League season.

Ghana, who suffered a major blow last week when Michael Essien was ruled out of the finals because of injury, also included Portsmouth's German-born midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng in the squad.

Boateng – whose tackle in the FA Cup final ruled Germany captain Michael Ballack out of the finals – recently received Fifa permission to switch his nationality after previously winning caps at under-21 level for Germany.

The only other uncapped player in the squad is reserve goalkeeper Stephen Ahorlu.


Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professional), Stephen Aholu (Heart of Lions), Richard Kingson (Wigan Athletic).

Group D fixtures

Sunday June 13

 Germany v Australia 
 Serbia v Ghana 

Friday June 18

Germany v Serbia 

Saturday June 19

Ghana v Australia 

Wednesday June 23

Ghana v Germany 
 Australia v Serbia 


Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea), Rahim Ayew (Zamalek), Samuel Inkoom (FC Basle), John Mensah (Sunderland), Jonathan Mensah (Udinese), John Paintsil (Fulham), Hans Sarpei (Bayer Leverkusen), Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim).


Anthony Annan (Rosenborg), Stephen Appiah (Bologna), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese), Dede Ayew (Arles Avignon), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan), Quincy Owusu Abeyie (Al Sadd).


Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan), Matthew Amoah (NAC Breda), Derek Boateng (Getafe), Asamoah Gyan (Rennes), Prince Tagoe (Hoffenheim).

Source: Agencies