Everton have confirmed defender Mason Holgate has withdrawn from the England U21 squad and requires surgery on an ankle injury.
Holgate was among six Everton players named in the Young Lions squad for matches against Romania and Ukraine this week.
However, Holgate has now been withdrawn from the squad to undergo what Everton describe as ‘minor’ ankle surgery.
With just two months and seven matches to go until the end of the season, it’s unclear whether Holgate will be fit enough to play again this campaign.
Everton haven’t put any timescale on his recovery, but any form of operation requires a reasonable layoff.
With Everton safe from relegation there is little need to risk Holgate’s long-term fitness by rushing him back too soon.
It may well be he decides to cut his losses and concentrate on being fully fit ahead of next campaign.
Holgate has made 21 appearances this season but hasn’t started a game since the 1-1 draw with West Brom on January 20th.
The 21-year-old has been a late substitute in Everton’s last two matches against Brighton and Stoke.