Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Muhamed Besic is likely to be out for six months after damaging his cruciate ligaments in the draw at Manchester United on Wednesday.
The Blues midfielder limped off after 75 minutes of the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford and it has now been revealed he will miss a large portion of the 2016/17 campaign.
But Everton captain Phil Jagielka is back in the fold having not yet featured in pre-season with his own injury problem.
“It’s very bad news, it is his cruciate ligament in his knee,” Koeman told evertontv of Besic. “That is very disappointing; first of all for the boy because this kind of injury usually means six months out.
“Mo was doing very well and was really committed to fighting for his chance. He is a positive boy and he is still young, only 23, but it is a step backwards for him. You don’t want that for anybody.
“I told him that he if needs anything he will get all the support he needs from the management.”
However, Koeman is ready to welcome back skipper Jagielka for Saturday's Goodison encounter.
The Blues boss confirmed that the defender is set to feature in the second half against Espanyol in Everton’s final friendly before the season kicks off against Tottenham Hotspur on 13 August.
“Phil will be part of the squad,” revealed Koeman. “Finally he is back and if you lose a period of your pre-season it makes it really tough to come back because it is a really important part of the season. It is in this period where you build your physical level.
“But he will be part of the team in the second half.”
Koeman also provided an update on the other injury concerns within his side.
“Shani Tarashaj is also back fit and will be part of the squad,” he added. “We still have some injuries – Matty Pennington unluckily injured his hamstring in the Real Betis game in Dresden, and still we have Tyias Browning out of the team.
“Darron Gibson is not fit enough to be part of the team but will be able to train next week.”