Just like that the new season is here and Everton are already running into issues with injuries. The Toffees kick off the 2022/23 campaign with a difficult home fixture against Frank Lampard’s former side Chelsea, but will be without striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin who sustained a ‘freak’ knee injury in training this week at Finch Farm.
Speaking during his pre-match press conference today, the manager provided an update on how long Calvert-Lewin would miss, revising the timeline provided yesterday that he would be out for a month.
“Losing a player like Dominic, with his quality, in the week going into the first game is obviously going to affect you. I think we’re probably looking at around six weeks for the injury. I saw a lot of crazy rumours yesterday, but he’s been assessed over a couple of days and that’s where we’re at.
“It comes with the territory of having a squad and training at this level. We’ll have to work around it. Other players will have to step up and do the job and hopefully that six weeks passes relatively quickly and we get Dominic back.
“No [it’s not related to previous injuries]. Dominic was looking great - really fit, really strong. I’ve taken him out of one pre-season game as a precaution but through pre-season we were constantly commenting on how good he looks. It was very positive. So, it’s a knock for everybody, particularly for him because I know the feeling as a player when you’re getting pumped up and ready for a new season.
“I feel for him but we’ll support him, as we always do, then as a team and a squad we have to look at the games in front of us.”
Perennially-injured defender Yerry Mina is fit to start the season however, while Lampard revealed that midfielders Tom Davies and Andre Gomes are both recovering from knocks.
“Andre has unfortunately got an injury, Yerry doesn’t, he’s fit ready to play. Whilst players are here they give everything, that’s something I saw at the end of last season, they give everything for this club and they have to continue to do so.
“Tom Davies should be training with us next week. Andre’s a week or two away. Yerry is fit. Asmir Begovic is just about fit, we hope, he’s worked very hard and is ahead of schedule.
“Seamus Coleman is fit. He’s going to play for the U21s tomorrow night to get some minutes, he’s behind in term’s fitness but typically Seamus works very hard to get up to speed.
“Allan is fit, but still trying to get some match minutes. He’s not played so many minutes during the pre-season. He’s part of the squad but we need to work on getting him match-fit.”
So there you have it - Everton will not be full-strength for a few weeks at least which only makes what they can do in the remaining part of the transfer window that much more important.