Carlo Ancelotti has revealed James Rodriguez will be unable to feature in Everton’s Premier League clash at Aston Villa on Thursday (6pm BST) – but is hopeful the playmaker will be ready to face Sheffield United at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The Colombian has missed Everton’s past two matches, having hurt his calf in the pre-match warm-up ahead the Blues’ home game against Villa on 1 May. Ancelotti added James is now "pain-free" and is expected to resume full training on Friday.
James’ compatriot Yerry Mina will also be unavailable for Thursday’s game after sustaining a minor adductor injury in Everton's 1-0 victory at West Ham United on Sunday.
Ancelotti said the centre-back – who was substituted just after the hour-mark at London Stadium – could also be in contention for this weekend's visit of Sheffield United, describing his injury as "a small problem".
Jean-Philippe Gbamin is Everton's other only absentee for the Villa game. The Ivorian midfielder will miss the remainder of the campaign with a knee injury.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Ancelotti said: “James will start to train with the team on Friday.
“And if the training is good on Friday and Saturday, he will play on Sunday against Sheffield United.
“He is pain-free now, he has no problem, but he hasn’t trained with the squad so I cannot put him at risk tomorrow [against Villa].
“Yerry had a problem on his adductor. It is not a big problem. He tried to train yesterday but he was a little bit uncomfortable. I hope to recover him for the game against Sheffield United.
“Even if he does not play on Sunday, I think he can play in the last two games of the season. He has a really small problem."