Friday 06 January 2012
Everton will be without Phil Jagielka for up to six weeks because of a knee injury.
The central defender, 29, sustained medial ligament damage in the 2-1 home defeat by Bolton on Wednesday after a first-half challenge on David Ngog.
England international Jagielka has been a Barclays Premier League regular for the Merseysiders this season with 19 appearances and his absence is likely to influence how Toffees manager David Moyes approaches January's transfer window.
"To lose him [Jagielka] is a massive blow to us because he is an integral part of the defence"
- David Moyes
The Scot has recalled Shane Duffy from a loan spell with League One club Scunthorpe as back-up for Sylvain Distin and John Heitinga, the only two remaining first-team centre-backs.
"We are down to two centre-halves so it is going to make it difficult to cope for that time with two central defenders," said Moyes.
"We know we don't have great finances so we know it will be a problem to do that.
"We'd like to add to one or two positions and with injury to Jagielka is leaves us short at centre-half.
"Losing Jagielka is an incredibly big thing for us because the one thing about the team at the moment is they have been very strong defensively in the main.
"To lose him is a massive blow to us because he is an integral part of the defence and very important to us.
"He has speed, commitment, is a little bit of leader and has great recovery defending.
"Even the other night (the 2-1 home defeat to Bolton) he got injured recovering to get a ball he had no right to get to.
"Ross has got a problem with his knee and we're not sure how long he will be out for"
- David Moyes
"Overall we will miss that athleticism and speed he offers - and you have to remember he is one of the top centre-halves in England."
Moyes also confirmed midfielder Leon Osman will need surgery to remove a floating piece of bone from his knee, while Tim Cahill (groin), Ross Barkley (knee) and England midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) will miss the FA Cup third-round match against Tamworth on Saturday.
"Jack is not serious, everytime we get him scanned it's a Grade One, it's very light he comes back and doesn't feel anything," he said.
"We maybe need to give him a week or so longer to make sure it's right this time.
"Ross has got a problem with his knee and we're not sure how long he will be out for."
But there was a more positive prognosis on Marouane Fellaini and Seamus Coleman, who have not played for two weeks because of injuries.
"Both of them are improving and hopefully they will be close to the squad on Saturday," added Moyes.