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.
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.
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.
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.