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Everton handed double blow

Everton manager David Moyes has suffered a double injury blow after learning that Kevin Mirallas and Tony Hibbert are facing extended spells out of action.

• Blog: Everton's toughest test

Moyes has confirmed that striker Mirallas, 25, will be out for several weeks after suffering a recurrence of his hamstring injury during last Sunday's 2-1 win over Tottenham.

Right-back Hibbert, meanwhile, will undergo an operation on Monday to attempt to sort out a calf problem.

Mirallas, a £5.3 million summer signing from Olympiakos, originally suffered his injury during the 2-1 victory over Sunderland on November 10.

He looked lively on his return against Spurs, but had to be withdrawn at half-time, and Moyes has confirmed that the Belgium international's hamstring is again the problem.

Moyes said: "It looks like we'll lose Kevin for a few weeks. Tony Hibbert's going to have an operation on his calf as well on Monday. We're going to lose both of them for a little while.

"Anybody who watched the game last week will tell you what Kevin's like, so it's a big blow.

"His hamstring just isn't right. It looks as if we're going to have to take more time over it so it'll probably keep him out for a while."

Hibbert, 31, has been plagued by calf trouble for much of the season, and has played only two matches since mid-September.

Moyes did not specify how long the right-back would be out for, but his absence is likely to give Seamus Coleman the chance to stake a claim for a regular place in the side.

The manager has indicated repeatedly that he does not have the funds to buy players next month without selling first - which he is reluctant to do.

"I'd like to strengthen, but we know that we've got a very small amount that I could do anything with and I don't think it would be enough to make a difference with what we'd want to bring in," he said.

"We'll look and see what's out there but I don't think the situation with Mirallas or Hibbo, for example, would change that."

Moyes has refused to rule out a loan move for Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott next month, although he declined to discuss the possibility when asked.

"I'd never talk about players about other clubs," Moyes said.


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