Thursday 14 December 2017

Jagielka out for nine weeks with knee injury

Everton's Phil Jagielka
Everton's Phil Jagielka

Everton defender Phil Jagielka could miss up to nine weeks with medial knee ligament damage, Toffees manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed.

England international Jagielka, 33, picked up the injury in the 2-1 loss at Arsenal on Saturday and although Martinez was pleased his knee cartilage and cruciate ligament remain unaffected, the Spaniard could be without his centre-back for the next two months.

"I wouldn't expect anything longer than eight to nine weeks," Martinez said when asked about the defender's recovery timetable.

Jagielka and striker Romelu Lukaku are the only players to have started every game in all competitions this season, but the former will need to replaced in the line-up for Norwich's visit to Goodison Park in the League Cup tonight.

Martinez confirmed Joel Robles will start in goal in place of Tim Howard, as he did in the last round, while Gareth Barry's late dismissal against the Gunners rules him out through suspension - meaning three of the squad's most experienced members will not play on Tuesday.

"It's a huge miss," Martinez said of Jagielka's absence.

"This campaign we've had to cope with many injuries already, especially in the back four. You rely on certain leaders to allow young players to come in and be able to perform. Phil Jagielka's role in that has been immense and probably that's what will be missed.

"You don't want to lose your captain, you don't want to lose an influential player, but that happens in a season - you get injuries, you get suspensions and you have to cope with that. As a team we've got other senior players who can take over that role and that influence and that's what we need to show on Tuesday."

Jagielka's injury will likely open the door for Ramiro Funes Mori to partner John Stones at the heart of defence.

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