Everton FC have confirmed that the ankle injury sustained by John Stones is as serious as first feared - with the defender likely to be out of action for up to 14 weeks.
The England international, who was replaced by Arsenal's Calum Chambers in the most recent England squad, fell awkwardly on his ankle late in the game against Manchester United on Sunday.
He was carried off on a stretcher as Everton finished the game with ten men and the immediate worry was that he had suffered a serious injury.
Now the confirmation from Roberto Martinez is that Stones requires surgery on the problem, and is unlikely to play again this year.
The Everton official Twitter account announced the news, stating:
INJURY UPDATE: Martinez reveals John Stones' injury requires surgery and expects the defender to be out for 10-14 weeks. More to follow.— Everton (@Everton) October 9, 2014
For Everton it is a real blow. The young defender had really begun to emerge as the first-choice centre-back for the club. His man-of the-match display against Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby endeared him to the fans even more - and his absence will be sorely missed at the club until 2015.