Essien, 29, has not played this season after suffering the injury before the first match of the campaign but Villas-Boas said he was nearing the stage where he could compete for a starting place.
"He (Essien) will return to the squad in mid-January and will be available for matches," said Villas-Boas.
"I think that in three weeks, he will be in a posiiton to compete for a starting place."
Ghanaian international midfielder Michael Essien should be in line for a first team start in mid-January after recovering from a serious knee injury said Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas on Friday.
Festus Allen (R)
Nigeria Premier League (NPL) side, 3SC have appointed Festus Allen as their head coach ahead of the 2011/12 season.
Allen, who was formerly with Bukola Babes (now ABS FC) before joining COD United, was unveiled on Friday at the Oyo State government house in Ibadan.
The former ABS FC coach told SuperSport.com that he is satisfied with the terms of contract handed him by the Oluyole Warriors.
He also disclosed that he has penned a one-year deal with the NPL outfit.
"I'm happy and honoured to be appointed as the coach of a big club like 3SC with so much tradition. I've signed a one-year contract and I am ready to give my best to the club," he told SuperSport.com over telephone from Ibadan.
Pique and Chermiti
Despite setting the pace, conserving the ball for long periods, and creating numerous opportunities, Johan Cruyff’s men were unable to get past a highly motivated Tunisian side at the Estadi Lluis Companys on Friday evening.
Tunisia kicked-off the match and quickly created a half-chance on their first attack when Amine Chermiti’s closed angle shot was kicked out of bounds by Victor Valdes.
Far from being overawed by their star-studded opposition, especially in the early-going, the north Africans continued to press forward and some clever interplay between Esperance team-mates Ousamma Darragi and Youssef Msakni nearly resulted in a one-on-one for the latter.
Asamoah Gyan (L)
Ghana key striker Asamoah Gyan suffered what looked like a serious injury on Friday just three weeks before the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations starts in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The in-form attacker was taken off during his side Al Ain's 4-0 win over Emirates in the UAE top-flight game.
There is now the race to find out if Gyan will be fit for the Nations Cup as Ghana will be counting on him for goals at the tournament.
Gyan put his side in the lead in the 6th minute after converting penalty.
But Al Ain medics were quick to call for his substitution on the half hour mark in what looked like a hamstring injury.
has been named Senegal
's best player in 2011.
The 25-year-old hitman was in great form for club and country all year, clinching the Golden Boot in France with a stunning 25 goals in 33 games to inspire Lille to their first league title in over half a century.
He was also an integral part of the Lions team that beat Cameroon to their qualifying group's ticket to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations
The award, organised by the country's sports writers, saw Sow poll the most votes.
He beat Denmark's Player of the Year, Dame N'Doye, to second place, followed by Papiss Demba Cisse, Mamadou Niang and Souleymane Diawara in that order.
William Njobvu (L)
have suffered a major injury blow ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations
after Israel-based William Njobvu received a knee injury that will sideline him for four weeks.
Defensive midfielder told MTNFootball.com from his base in Israel on Thursday that he sustained the injury in league action for Hopoel Ironi Shmona recently.
"Yes I am injured,"Njobvu said."I broke my minuscule in my knee. I am going for surgery on Monday.
"But for sure I am out of the Africa Cup because the doctor confirmed that I will be out for four weeks."