Everton defender Mason Holgate is concerned he could be sidelined with a toe injury for up to six weeks.
The 23-year-old defender picked up the problem in last weekend’s pre-season friendly with Preston North End, coming off during the first-half at Goodison.
Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that Holgate would miss Sunday’s season-opener with Tottenham Hotspur, when speaking at this pre-match press conference on Thursday, but did not expand on the extent of the injury.
Holgate had scans on Monday but the club needed to do further tests on the centre-half’s injury before being having a clearer timescale on his return.
The ECHO understands that Everton believe that the worst case scenario could see Holgate out of action near the end of October but are hoping he can return sooner than that.
Ancelotti confirmed that Yerry Mina, who missed the final three matches of the season, is fit and available for the game with Spurs this weekend.
Lewis Gibson, who is being lined up for a loan move to Huddersfield Town, could be included in the squad with Jarrad Branthwaite, who finished last season in the team following injury to Mina and Holgate, will be in contention if he has shaken off the knock which forced him to miss the game with Preston.
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Everton are interested in loaning Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea, with bolstering the squad’s defensive options now the club’s recruitment focus, following the signings of Allan, James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The Blues follow up the trip to Spurs by facing Salford City in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening at Goodison and then welcoming West Brom three days later.
A trip to Crystal Palace is the final league fixture of this month but there is the potential for two more rounds of the Carabao Cup to be squeezed in before the end of September, should the Blues progress.
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