Stones injury headache for Everton

Everton defender John Stones may not play again this year after his ankle injury turned out to be more serious than first thought, reports BBC Sport.

Stones was stretchered off late in Everton’s 2-1 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, leaving his team with only 10 players for the last few minutes of the match as they had already used all their substitutions.

And the prognosis is that Stones will now need surgery in order to repair the ligament damage, which will necessitate 10 to 14 weeks on the sidelines, meaning he is unlikely to feature again in 2014.

However, Toffees boss Roberto Martinez managed to remain upbeat despite the selection headache he will now face.

“It’s a clear injury, not a complicated injury. It’s a little bit of a setback but in John’s case we were very worried because those injuries can become a little bit difficult to treat. But this one is going to be straightforward and we are already counting down the days for him to come back for the final and most important part of the season,” said the Spanish tactician.

Stones had also been selected in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the European Championship qualifying matches against San Marino and Estonia this week. Stones already has four caps to his name, but with this injury will most likely miss out on the next qualifier against Slovenia and the friendly with Scotland later this year too.

20-year-old Stones joined Everton from his hometown team Barnsley for £3 million during the January transfer window of 2013, and after a slow start managed to establish himself in the Toffees line-up towards the end of last season. To date he has made 33 appearances for the Goodison Park outfit.

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