Everton manager David Moyes admits his long injury list has started to get him down after the latest setback to captain Phil Neville.
The 32-year-old has had to undergo an operation to repair a tear in the cartilage of the knee he injured at Fulham in September. With Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta, Victor Anichebe, James Vaughan and Leon Osman all currently injured and Steven Pienaar only just returning to fitness after two months out, Moyes has had a tough time.
"It started to wear me down on Friday when I heard Phil was going to need an operation," said the Toffees boss.
"He has a bit of a cartilage tear, which we knew about, but the surgeon didn't want to operate [at the time of the injury] as he didn't think it was needed.
"It looks as if the tear has got slightly bigger so we feel now we have to go in and do something about it.
"The surgeon thought it would heal by itself, which was the correct decision, but now it has got bigger it is starting to cause him a few problems.
"We were probably expecting Phil to have maybe started against Manchester United (last Saturday), Hull on Wednesday or maybe Liverpool (this Sunday).
"There was an outside chance because he had been training with us for five or six days but in the end I wouldn't have picked him against United because he wasn't physically fit enough.
"It now looks like he is going to be out for another two or three weeks."
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