Marco Silva says Fabian Delph is "a big doubt" for Everton ahead of Saturday's trip to Southampton.
The Everton manager revealed in his pre-match press conference that the England midfielder could miss the Premier League clash at St Mary's, with Andre Gomes also out after suffering a fracture dislocation to his right ankle in last weekend's 1-1 draw at home to Spurs.
Silva, who admitted Gomes could potentially return before the end of the season, confirmed Morgan Schneiderlin is available for this weekend.
Delph missed Everton’s home victory over West Ham United three weeks ago with a hamstring complaint but was fit enough to appear from the bench at Brighton & Hove Albion six days later.
He returned to the starting XI for last week’s Carabao Cup success against Watford and completed Sunday’s draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
The 29-year-old was recalled to Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Thursday for forthcoming European Championship qualifying matches against Montenegro and Kosovo but is nevertheless facing a race against time to feature against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints.
“We will see tomorrow [Friday] and on the matchday but at this moment Fabian is a big doubt for the match,” said Silva.
“Since the start of the season, it was really tough for us in that area of the pitch.
“We started to have big injuries there, it started in the first game with Andre when he came off with a small injury [Gomes hurt his ankle at Crystal Palace].
“Fabian did not do all of pre-season [Delph injured his thigh and missed Everton’s opening three games].
“Then we had the injury to Jean-Philippe Gbamin.”
Portugal international Gomes is recuperating at home following a successful operation to repair his ankle injury.
And Silva is hopeful over the prospect of the 26-year-old being involved again this term.
“The feedback I had from our medical staff is that it’s possible we will see Andre playing again this season,” said Silva.
“Everything went really well with the surgery and [post-operation] examinations and we hope we can see Andre playing again this season.
“Of course, we can’t be 100 per cent sure but we have good possibilities to do that.”
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SILVA REVEALS HOW DAVIES HAS IMPROVED FOR EVERTON
Frenchman Schneiderlin, who has started six times in the Premier League this season, could potentially come into Silva’s team this weekend.
If the former Southampton man does feature, he is likely to be accompanied in midfield by Tom Davies, outstanding in Everton’s past three top-flight games after earning a recall to the side.
“Morgan is working with the team and has been okay the past two weeks since he had a small problem,” added Silva.
“We do not have big numbers in that midfield zone but it is up to me to find the solutions… and we have to be strong.
“These are the times for the others to be ready to get their chance.
“Tom showed that in the past few games, he is doing well.
“It is possible two of the midfielders who started the last game will not be available. Andre for sure and we will see with Fabian.
“But it is a chance for another player.”