Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell has been ruled out for up to three months with an ankle injury.
Manager David Moyes confirmed the news at a press conference on Friday morning.
Rodwell was injured in a challenge with Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock in Everton's last Barclays Premier League outing a fortnight ago. The 19-year-old was withdrawn from England's recent Under-21 squad while Everton waited to learn the extent of the problem.
The news is a blow for the highly-rated Rodwell, who had been hoping to push for a regular starting place.
He began the season on the bench but started at Villa after impressing in a Carling Cup win over Huddersfield.
"I thought when he went over it was a twisted ankle and he'd maybe be out for a week, if at all," said Moyes.
"But he got scanned and we knew there was a problem.
"They think it doesn't need surgery but unfortunately he is going to be out for two to three months.
"We were worried it was going to be a similar injury to Marouane Fellaini's but, thank goodness, it wasn't that bad."
Fellaini was unable to train for around six months after being injured in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool in February.
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