Everton endured a host of injuries to key players last season and the blows keep on coming for manager Frank Lampard this term too.
Defender Yerry Mina and midfielder Tom Davies were sent home from the club’s mid-season trip to Australia after succumbing to respective knee and hamstring problems in the 4-2 penalty shootout win over Celtic at the weekend.
And now £9 million former Manchester United midfielder James Garner has been ruled out for two months with a back problem. He was left behind when the club travelled Down Under for the Sydney Super Cup and Lampard has revealed the player is set for an extended absence.
"He’s probably going to be back at the back end of January or early February. It’s a disappointing injury," he told evertontv.
The highly-rated 21-year-old, who was signed from United in the summer, has made only one start - the Carabao Cup defeat at Bournemouth - in his seven appearances.
Lampard had better news on injured pair Davies and Mina, who he hopes will ready for action when the Premier League season resumes on Boxing Day. "Tom is three weeks-ish, which is a positive result as we were worried about him. Yerry is similar, three to four weeks," he added.
Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed Everton‘s final league match before the World Cup with an ongoing knee problem which saw him sit out the first two months of the season, while winger Andros Townsend is a long-term absentee following anterior cruciate ligament surgery last season.