Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell has been ruled out for up to three months with an ankle injury.
Manager David Moyes confirmed the news at a press conference this morning.
Rodwell was injured in a challenge with Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock in Everton's last Barclays Premier League outing a fortnight ago.
The 19-year-old was withdrawn from England's recent Under-21 squad while Everton waited to learn the extent of the problem.
The news is a blow for the highly-rated Rodwell, who had been hoping to push for a regular starting place.
He began the season on the bench but started at Villa after impressing in a Carling Cup win over Huddersfield.
"I thought when he went over it was a twisted ankle and he'd maybe be out for a week, if at all," said Moyes.
"But he got scanned and we knew there was a problem.
"They think it doesn't need surgery but unfortunately he is going to be out for two to three months.
"We were worried it was going to be a similar injury to Marouane Fellaini's but, thank goodness, it wasn't that bad."Reuse content