Everton midfielder Barkley set to be ruled out for several weeks

Everton fear that midfielder Ross Barkley could be out for several weeks, as they believe the 20-year-old has broken his toe, BBC Sport has reported.

Barkley has been one of Everton’s most influential players this season, and his performances have led many to call for his inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for this summer’s World Cup.

Fellow Everton star Leighton Baines suffered a similar injury in November and went on to miss several games; should Barkley’s injury be as bad as it is feared, the Merseyside derby at the end of January will be among the fixtures he will miss.

However, he missed the 2-0 victory over Norwich City on Saturday, and speaking after the game, Everton boss Roberto Martinez confirmed that Barkley’s toe could be broken. He said: “We are going to assess him and it seems he is going to be out for a while, it could be broken.

“We are going to assess it to see if there was displacement or not, it is a very similar incident to the one Leighton Baines had. Before we say exactly what it is, that is the fear, that there could be a fracture in his toe.”

Victory over Norwich took Everton back up to fourth place in the Premier League, with Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas both scoring fine long range efforts. On the performance, Martinez added: “It was an entertaining game and important to score that second goal.

“Overall we created a lot of chances, maybe that clinical touch in the final third was missing but I couldn’t be happier the clean sheet. Some of the phases of our game were fantastic.’

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