Everton return to action on Sunday with what is likely to be one of their most challenging games of the season, the annual trip to the Etihad to take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Speaking to the media today ahead of the Sunday game, manager Rafa Benitez stayed vague on the injury update regarding Abdoulaye Doucoure, Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
“To be fair, they are all progressing well, but they are not ready yet. The squad is fine so the training sessions are quite intense and everybody is quite positive.
“We know that we are playing against a good team but we have confidence that we can do well. In the last game against Tottenham the team showed the right character and the right mentality and what we have to do in every game.
“Sometime you can manage the injuries, but when you have a metatarsal or a knee problem, or you have players that have injuries in the past and they are re-injured, then you try to bring them back as soon as possible, but being safe at the same time.
“Each is different, they are getting better. You have to be sure they are fine. Doucoure is a metatarsal, so the bone has to heal. One week, two weeks maximum he will be fine. Dominic, three weeks.”
“It’s what we have to do now, the team started really well, then we had some players injured and some issues. Hopefully we’ll get these players back soon and then the team will be stronger for the rest of the first part of the season, and especially the second part of the season.”
So it looks like Everton will not get back any of the injured quartet for the game against City, but with Doucoure and Calvert-Lewin expected back soon, there is some light at the end of this tunnel.