Everton manager Marco Silva said he hopes that midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin will be back playing in six to eight weeks after the Ivorian suffered a serious knock in training last week.
Earlier on Tuesday, the club confirmed that Gbamin sustained a tendon injury in his right quadriceps muscle during preparations for Friday’s 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
It is a serious blow for Silva, too, having signed Gbamin late in the transfer window for £25 million from Mainz to replace Idrissa Gueye, but said he and the club will do all they can to ensure Gbamin recovers fully and properly as quickly as possible:
“Our medical staff was clear about the situation. Day by day, we’ll see how he can be but, of course, we are talking about six to eight weeks. At the moment, this is the target we have for him to be back training with us.
“I said after the Aston Villa match it was something we didn’t expect when we saw a muscle injury but, of course, the scan gave this feedback for us. Now it is a matter for us to try and get the player ready again as fast as we can.
“It’s a tough moment for him, of course. We are here to support him as much as we can because it’s not an easy moment, but it’s part of football; it can happen.
“Everything was so fast; he came in in the last days of the transfer window and then made his debut against Crystal Palace, and then played the whole match against Watford, and then during the week. he felt that problem. Now he knows what has happened and it’s up to us to support him and put him in the best condition as fast as possible.”
Though it is extremely frustrating news for Silva, he did at least reveal that nobody else in his squad is currently sidelined with injury.
Fellow midfielder Fabian Delph, he confirmed, is ready to make his Everton debut, after he injured himself during a pre-season match with Werder Bremen following his £8.5 million from Manchester City last month.
And though Silva admitted he would prefer to have everyone available, he accepted that this is an occupational hazard of being a football manager:
“It’s never good, but now Fabian is in a condition to play if i decide to [select him]. Of course, it’s not good, but it’s football. Because of that, we have 23 players, because we have to expect anything can happen. Last season, we had a very good season in terms of injuries; we worked hard to prevent these from our players and its something we’ll do again this season.
“Normally, pre-season is a tough moment for them. Some of the new players come from different training processes, too. They need to adapt. But it’s a normal situation; if you look at other clubs, it’s more or less the same. For me as a manager, like always, if I have all of them available, it will be the best solution for me.”
Silva was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s trip to League One side Lincoln City in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Though many managers use these ties to rotate their squads and give fringe players an opportunity, Silva assured he will pick what he believes to be the best starting XI at his disposal for the game at Sincil Bank:
“Lincoln is a team we know very well. We played against them last season [in the FA Cup], but we play in this competition with the full ambition to do something special.
“It doesn’t make sense just to rotate for rotation’s sake. We will play with the XI that I think is the best XI to play this match.”