Everton FC will be without midfielder Lee Carsley for both legs of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie against Villarreal CF after he aggravated a long-term knee injury playing against Fenerbahçe SK last weekend.
The Republic of Ireland international now faces around four weeks on the sidelines, the club revealed. "He was tackled awkwardly during the game at Fenerbahçe and has strained medial ligaments," Everton physio Mick Rathbone said.
Champions League blow
Carsley underwent surgery on his knee at the end of last season, and the match in Turkey was only his second outing of the pre-season. The 30-year-old played in all but two of Everton's Premiership games last term, but will miss the matches against Villarreal on 9 and 24 August, and could even be absent for the start of the group stage on 13/14 September, should the Merseyside club go through.
Manager David Moyes has signed two midfield reinforcements in the close season, wide man Simon Davies from Tottenham Hotspur FC and Manchester United FC's Philip Neville, who appears tailor-made to fill the holding role while Carsley is out.
Osman and Bent hopeful
There remain slight injury doubts over Leon Osman and Marcus Bent, who have ankle and Achilles tendon problems respectively, but both are expected to be fit in time for the Spanish side's visit to Goodison on Tuesday.
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