Essien tore the medial ligament in his left knee while training with the Black Stars ahead of their Nations Cup meeting against Burkina Faso in January.
The 27-year old insists he has been he was keen on playing at the tournament and told his club's official website of his pain at missing out.
"Since my injury in January I had been working hard to come back for Chelsea and Ghana but it wasn't to be, he said. I did everything I could but eventually I succumbed to the injury and had to accept the fact that the body takes its own time to heal and you cannot rush things.
"I had my last assessment over a week ago with the Chelsea and Ghana doctors present. It took place at the hotel where all the Ghanaian players were staying and coming out of that meeting was very emotional for me. I spoke to Stephen Appiah, the captain, and all the other guys about my inability to join them and you could tell how disappointed they were.
"I have to admit no one was more disappointed that me but that is life and I have to move on. I would like to wish the Black Stars the best of luck in South Africa. They need out support and all Ghanaians should get behind them."