Essien returns to Black Stars squad
The 28-year-old has not played for his country since suffering an injury at the 2010 African Nations Cup, having put his international career on hold over concerns at the fitness problems he was suffering as a result.
But he has been named in Goran Stevanovic's 24-man squad for the qualifier against Congo on 3 June and a friendly against Korea Republic in Seoul four days later.
Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan, who is suspended for the game against Congo, has also made the squad so as to be available against Korea. Ghana top Group I in the qualifiers with seven points, above Sudan on goal difference.
Ghana squad for the CAF African Nations Cup qualifier:
Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (Blackpool) Sammy Adjei (Hearts of Oak), Ernest Sowah (Berekum Chelsea);
Defenders: John Pantsil (Fulham), Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), David Addy (Academica Coimbra), Jonathan Mensah (Granada), Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim), John Mensah (Sunderland), Lee Addy (Red Star Belgrade);
Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Schalke), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Michael Essien (Chelsea), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese), Sulley Muntari (Sunderland), Derek Boateng (Getafe), Kevin-Prince Boateng (AC Milan), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Opoku Agyemang (Al-Ahli);
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland), Prince Tagoe (Partizan Belgrade), Dominic Adiyiah (Partizan Belgrade), Emmanuel Clottey (Berekum Chelsea).