Ghana's Mensah, Kingson on the mend
Ghana defender John Mensah and goalkeeper Richard Kingson both say they're recovering from injuries and expect to be healthy for the World Cup next month.
Mensah was substituted with a left calf injury in Sunderland's 1-0 loss to Manchester United on May 2. The 27-year-old said Saturday that he now feels fine but that Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac does not intend to play him in pre-World Cup training games.
"No pain, no nothing," Mensah said of his calf, speaking at the Black Stars' training camp north of Paris.
Explaining Rajevac's caution, he said: "The coach doesn't want to risk me for any unnecessary friendly games because of the World Cup."
Ghana will play Germany, Australia and Serbia in Group D, and Mensah says Ghana will need to "play like a wounded lion" to reach the knockout stages. It will be missing top player Michael Essien, ruled out of the June 11-July 11 competition after failing to recover from a long-term knee injury.
Kingson, a backup 'keeper for English Premier League side Wigan, says he is still having treatment for a shoulder injury. But he hopes to be fit for Ghana's opener against Serbia on June 13, when he will turn 32.
"The whole of this season I didn't play one game for Wigan but I know in South Africa that if I get a chance to play, people will see a good goalkeeper," he said.
"It's much better," he said of his shoulder. "I'm working, no problem, by the day I'll be OK."
Kingson played for Ghana at the African Cup of Nations in January, including in the 1-0 loss to Egypt in the final. He is a veteran of the 2006 World Cup, when the Black Stars were the only African team to reach the second round. There, it was eliminated by Brazil.
Mensah, who played in that 3-0 defeat, made 16 appearances for Sunderland this season after joining on loan from French side Lyon in August 2009.
He said he wants Lyon and Sunderland to reach a deal so that he can stay at the Premier League club next season.
"Sunderland wants me to stay, and I also hope to stay," he said.