Everton will be without the service of Ross Barkley for their first English Premier League game against Leicester City on Saturday.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder was a star for the Toffees last season, winning Everton’s Young Player of the Season, but will miss the start of the league season after sustaining a serious leg injury.
Barkley injured himself in training on Friday and was seen leaving Finch Farm, Everton’s training ground, with his leg in a brace.
Early reports suggest he could be out for six weeks which means Barkley could also miss matches against Arsenal and Chelsea who Everton are set to face in their following two league fixtures after Saturday’s opener against Leicester.
Last season the youngster featured in 38 games for Everton and his attacking impetus will be missed on Saturday.
Barkley, who signed a new long-term contract at Goodison Park earlier this month, could be replaced in Everton’s starting line-up this weekend by new signing Muhamed Besic.