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He looked lively on his return against Spurs, but had to be withdrawn at half-time, and Moyes has confirmed that the Belgium international's hamstring is again the problem.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