Carlo Ancelotti says Jean-Philippe Gbamin requires further surgery on a thigh injury and may be out for the rest of the season.
The £25m summer signing from Mainz played just two games for the Toffees before suffering the injury in August and underwent surgery in October.
Despite returning to light training it seems he has suffered a setback and may go under the knife once more, potentially ending his season.
It is rotten luck for both the player and club, as the Ivory Coast midfielder has no track record of injuries as far as we can see.
There was more positive news about Gylfi Sigurðsson, Alex Iwobi and Richarlison, who have made full recoveries from their respective setbacks, while André Gomes’ rehabilitation has continued at an extraordinary pace.
This 11-day gap between matches is the longest break Everton have enjoyed since Ancelotti’s arrival, and the manager said it has been hugely beneficial to spend more time than usual on the training ground with his squad.
“It was a good period because we have worked with almost all the players; we had only Gbamin out. Sigurðsson, André Gomes and Richarlison came back, so the squad is in a good physical condition.
“Gomes has made a fantastic recovery; he’s almost fit. Of course, we have to take care of him and consider that after the game against Crystal Palace we have a break, so in that period, we have a possibility to prepare him for the game against Arsenal. This is the plan.
“The others [Richarlison, Sigurðsson, Iwobi] are in good condition. Only Gbamin unfortunately has a problem. He had a check with the English doctor and maybe in the next few days, he will need more surgery to try to recover him before the end of the season.”
As for Gomes, Ancelotti praised the work of the club’s medical staff to have overseen such a remarkable turnaround from such a horrific injury.
Gomes suffered a fractured dislocation to his right ankle during Everton’s draw with Tottenham on November 3, and the manager joked that his return will feel like a new signing.
“I think that the work that all the staff have done with him is fantastic. I was surprised because he started training with the team without any problems. This is really good news. Maybe we can consider him a new player in this transfer market.”