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Last Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007, 09:41 GMT
Appiah forced out of Nations Cup
Stephen Appiah
Injury problems mean the Ghana captain will miss the Nations Cup
Ghana captain Stephen Appiah will miss the African Nations Cup because of injury problems.

The Fenerbahce midfielder says he will be out of action for two months, because of complications surrounding his long-term knee injury.

He has been in Italy for tests, and to get a second opinion, but his doctors have confirmed that he will not be fit.

"The news has come as a bitter blow to Stephen," a statement on the player's website said.

"[He] has been working hard in the last week or so to prove he is fine and fit.

Big blow

Claude Le Roy
Ghana coach Claude Le Roy must find a replacement captain
"Stephen [would] like to say a big thank you to all his fans and well wishers who have sent him get well soon messages in the last few weeks.

"He is very grateful for your support."

The statement also thanked the Ghana Football Association for its patience and understanding.

The GFA had given the player as much time as he needed to try to prove his fitness.

Appiah's absence will be a huge blow to the host country.

The captain is an inspirational part of the Black Stars set-up.

He lead the way as they became the only African side to make it through the knock-out stages of the World Cup in Germany in 2006.

He scored the winning penalty in their match against USA - a victory which sent them through to the last 16.

'No deadline' for Appiah - GFA
24 Dec 07 |  Africa Cup of Nations


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