Everton striker Arouna Kone might miss the rest of the season after finding out he will need surgery to his knee.
Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager, confirmed that Kone, who arrived from Wigan for £6m in the summer, will be out for a longer period after suffering an injury in the win against Hull last month.
The exact extent of the Ivorian's absence is not yet known but Martinez fears he might have to do without his striker for a significant period of time.
"We had to send him for a surgery and we need to see how long exactly he'll be out but it'll be a while," the Spaniard told the Liverpool Echo.
"I would say the worst fears were confirmed and he had some loose cartilage in his knee. We'll know in the next 48 hours.
"He needs it repaired and the loose cartilage taken out. It takes a long time to recover.
"We'll need to see how he gets through surgery but it's a really difficult injury in terms of time.
"He'll be fine long term but it's disappointing because I felt he showed against Hull he was ready to be himself and enjoy his football.
"We'll make sure he gets back fit and strong as ever."
Martinez compared Kone's situation to that of midfielder Darron Gibson, who recently had surgery on his cruciate knee ligaments.
"It's similar to Darron, although Darron had already surprised everyone with how he's recovering because he's been around and put weight on his knee," he said. "He's very positive.
"If we could get them both back before the season ends it would be the best two signings."
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