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John Mensah to be first player to open Ghana camp

Mensah 08.09

Fri, 21 May 2010 Source: Ghanasoccernet

Serbia, Australia and Germany already camping

Ghana defender John Mensah will be the first player to arrive in the Black Stars pre-World Cup camp as he will land in Paris on Sunday morning.

The England-based tough central defender has recovered from his back problems after staying behind in Sunderland to continue with treatment.

He ducked his scheduled holidays in Ghana after the Premier league season ended two weeks ago and Sunderland allowed doctors to take care of him ahead of the next month’s World Cup in South.

Keen on making a huge impression Mensah has stepped up his training ahead of the team’s arrival.

The Black Stars delegation are expected to leave Accra by Saturday night for their camping base in France but before they arrive later in morning, Mensah would have arrived as he is due there early in the morning.

“This is a very important tournament for my country and I need to be in the best shape before I arrive in camp,” Mensah told

“I have undergone sufficient treatment and I am now ready to hit the ground running with my Black Stars colleagues.

“We are all giving the tournament the seriousness it deserves that’s why I decided not to go to Ghana.

“Happily I have been able to bring my entire family and my pastor here so they can also come here and see where I live.

“Now is the World Cup time and we are charged and ready to go.”

Mensah’s towering presence and impenetrable defending have led to the Ghana center back being nicknamed “Rock of Gibraltar.”

Although there would seem to be little in common between the British-ruled territory on the Spanish coast and the west African country, it is a label that has stuck on the 27-year-old since he made his international debut in 2002.

Despite the image of a sturdy defensive bastion, Mensah has battled with a brittle back over the last two seasons and found his playing time limited by a list of different muscle injuries that stem from the problem.

He has postponed surgery on the back problem causing the hamstring injuries until after the World Cup to get a permanent solution.

Even with this back problem, he has been very impressive for Sunderland who want to sign him permanently from Lyon.

Source: Ghanasoccernet