Richarlison's Vow On Injury Return

Richarlison is vowing to “work every waking hour” to return to action as soon as possible and have a major say in the second half of Everton’s Premier League campaign. 

The Brazilian suffered a calf tear in Sunday’s meeting with Crystal Palace and acknowledged manager Rafa Benitez was “trying to protect me” when withdrawing the player shortly after half-time. 

Forward Richarlison, who scored his 50th goal in English football to cap a brilliant individual performance in last week’s victory over Arsenal, has begun all but one league game for which he’s been available under Benitez, the lone exception the 24-year-old’s first match following a knee injury in October. 

Richarlison started at centre-forward against Palace but the muscle problem forced him off after 58 minutes, with a scan on Tuesday discovering a tear in the South American’s calf. 

“I am so disappointed to suffer this injury and have to miss games, especially at an important time for the team and with so many points to play for,” Richarlison told 

“It was frustrating I couldn’t stay on the pitch against Crystal Palace but Rafa did the right thing for me and for the team. 

“I wasn’t able to play at my maximum capacity because of the issue with my calf and if I stayed on I would have done more damage and, probably, faced a longer period out of the team. 

“I love playing football and love playing for Everton and am always sad when it isn’t possible to be on the field with my teammates. 

“I understand the manager was trying to protect me. My recovery started as soon as I received the diagnosis from my scan and I will work every waking hour to be back in the blue shirt as soon as possible. 

“Everybody is confident we can have a really good second half of the season and I plan to do everything possible to be back scoring and creating goals and working to help us achieve our aims at the earliest opportunity.”