Everton are set to be without Seamus Coleman for the visit of West Ham on Sunday after the full-back sustained a foot injury on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Coleman, who is not long returned from ten months out following a horrific leg-break in March 2017, picked up a stress fracture during his country’s 4-1 defeat by Wales in Cardiff on Thursday, and Ireland boss Martin O’Neill expressed worry about his captain ahead of the resumption of the Nations League next month.
“Seamus went for a scan,” O’Neill told RTE Sport. “He has a little stress fracture, which is a concern. He could easily have got a flight home, but he stayed with the team.
“He is a great captain, a really great captain. He is inspirational and obviously we hope he is back in time for the games coming up.”
Everton will still be without summer signing Richarlison for Sunday’s visit of West Ham to Goodison Park, after his red card for head-butting Bournemouth’s Adam Smith during August’s 2-2 draw.
The Blues’ record signing made his debut for Brazil in a 2-0 friendly victory over the USA, but will remain out of contention whilst he serves out the remainder of a three-match ban.
But it is Coleman’s absence that will be of more serious long-term concern for coach Marco Silva, with the Ireland captain likely to be missing into next month as Everton look to continue their unbeaten start to the new season.
Coleman was missing from March of last year until January, after a tackle from Wales’ defender Neil Taylor whilst on international duty left him with a double leg fracture. He made his first-team return during Everton’s 2-1 win against Leicester on January 31.
The full-back has appeared in all four of his side’s Premier League fixtures this season, captaining the team in the absence of injured skipper Phil Jagielka, as the Portuguese Silva has guided the club to a steady start since replacing Sam Allardyce.
Coleman and Jagielka join a long list of absentees for the Toffees, with Idrissa Gueye, James McCarthy, Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Theo Walcott all sidelined.