Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure could face a considerable period on the sidelines with a stress response in his foot.
The 28-year-old played for 90 minutes in Everton’s 1-0 home loss to West Ham on Sunday but the Toffees have confirmed the French midfielder picked up an injury during the Goodison Park clash.
The Toffees have revealed that Doucoure will not require surgery and the club are running tests on the midfielder to discover the extent of the injury.
Everton’s Abdoulaye Doucoure could spend time out injured with a stress response in his foot
Losing Doucoure would be a blow for Everton boss Rafa Benitez (left) and his injury-hit squad
Doucoure been a key figure in Rafa Benitez’s Toffees side and has played in every single minute of Everton’s Premier League campaign so far.
The Spanish coach already has midfielders Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph injured, while Gylfi Sigurdsson has not featured for the Toffees this term. That just leaves Brazilian midfielder Allan, Tom Davies and injury-prone option Jean-Philippe Gbamin as central midfield options should Doucoure be out for some time.
Doucoure suffered a fractured foot earlier this calendar year and missed seven league matches last season due to the problem, but it is feared he will face longer on the treatment table after this latest setback.
Everton have also had star strikers Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison on the treatment table in recent weeks, with the attacking pair missing the Toffees’ last four top-flight matches.
Doucoure has played in every Everton league game this term but has picked up a serious blow
However, Benitez believes that Richarlison, who has been out with a knee problem, is close to a return and could make his comeback against Watford this weekend, while Calvert-Lewin’s fractured toe will take longer to heal.
‘I think Richarlison is closer, Dominic will take longer but Richarlison is getting closer,’ Benitez confirmed after Everton’s loss to West Ham on Sunday.
Defeat to the Hammers leaves Everton in eighth-place in the Premier League table, one point behind fourth-placed Brighton in the final Champions League qualification spot.
The Toffees have made a positive start to life under Benitez, winning four and drawing two out of their first eight matches of the league season.