Pienaar set to miss Europe trip

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The Independent Football

Steven Pienaar is almost certainly out of Everton's Europa League clash with BATE Borisov this week, but the club believe he is not due for a long spell on the sidelines.

The midfielder picked up a knee injury in Saturday's victory at Portsmouth, and has been on crutches ever since.

Everton's medical team have assessed the injury and hope that it is just heavy bruising. But they plan further checks this week and will have a better idea of the injury when the bruising has reduced.

Everton leave for Minsk tomorrow for Thursday's Group I showdown, and Pienaar is highly unlikely to be involved and may well also miss Sunday's home league game with Stoke.

Physio Mick Rathbone said: "There's no timescale at the moment but hopefully it will only be something short-term. Steven took an almighty knock on the inside of the knee, so he is pretty sore.

"There's a lot of bruising and a lot of swelling around the area, so we've got him on crutches at the moment."