Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed James Rodriguez will not feature for Everton against Manchester United in Wednesday night's Carabao Cup quarter-final at Goodison Park.
The Colombian has been out since the 1-1 draw at Burnley on 5 December due to a calf injury and, despite initial hopes he would return for the last-eight tie, Ancelotti revealed in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday that James will not be available.
Ancelotti added the playmaker is on course to regain full fitness soon, however, with the Blues' Boxing Day match at Sheffield United a possibility to see James in action again.
The Everton manager also gave an update on Jean-Philippe Gbamin, confirming the midfielder is at USM Finch Farm and on course with his rehabilitation from an Achilles injury but that the Club will "take their time" in bringing the 25-year-old back into the First Team.
"We want to do a proper entry for him [Gbamin] in the squad, so we will take our time," said Ancelotti.
"He had a lot of injuries, so we have to take care with him."
James, who has played 11 games since joining from Real Madrid prior to this campaign, is training individually at USM Finch Farm as he closes on a return to action.
"We are not concerned, we are sad because James is an important player for us, but if he is not ready we don’t have to push and force him to come back," said Ancelotti.
"We have to wait a little bit.
"He is going to recover well and properly.
"The season finishes in May – for all the players, they need a proper rehab to avoid problems in the future, when the season might be more important than now.
"James can be available for the next game, or the game after [Manchester City on 28 December].
"We have games every three days.
"He is working individually, so has to start working with the team before he starts to play."