Everton and England midfielder Ross Barkley looks set to be out for up to six weeks after breaking a bone in his foot during the FA Cup third-round win over Queens Park Rangers.
The 20-year-old injured his toe during the 4-0 victory and missed last Saturday’s game against Norwich with fears that he could miss key fixtures against Liverpool and Tottenham over the forthcoming weeks.
The Toffees confirmed the injury was only a fractured toe – not a broken metatarsal – so there is a slight possibility that he could be in contention for a return in two weeks for the Merseyside derby at Anfield on January 28.
Barkley, who has been in scintillating form this season, travelled with his Everton teammates to Tenerife for some warm-weather training ahead of next Monday’s League game against West Bromwich Albion.
He took part in some light exercise before relaxing in the pool as his fellow squad members settled into the 3T (Tops Training Tenerife) Sports Centre in La Caleta - previously where Manchester City have trained.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez was quoted by the Daily Mirror: “Knowing Ross, being a young man, hopefully with the sun – a bit of Vitamin D intake – it will accelerate the healing process.
“It is a blow but in the same way, at such a young age, we’re going to use this as a perfect rest for him to come back and be as strong and as sharp as he can be in the second half of the season.”
It’s the second-time this season Everton have had to deal with a toe injury setback with left-back Leighton Baines fracturing his toe when they met Liverpool at Goodison Park in late November which lead to a spell of six games on the sidelines.
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