Everton manager Roberto Martinez has told reporters, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo, that captain Phil Jagielka could be in danger of missing the last four matches of the season after pushing himself "to the maximum" to play against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final.
The 33-year-old centre-back had missed the Toffees last three Premier League matches through injury including the 4-0 thrashing at the hands of rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby at Anfield last Wednesday.
However, with Ramiro Funes Mori suspended and John Stones less than fully fit, both club and player pushed themselves to the limit to ensure that the former Sheffield United man would be able to take up his role in the heart of defence.
In the event, Jagielka played the full 90 minutes as Everton suffered a heartbreaking last-gasp defeat to United, a result which left their season as something of a dead rubber with four matches remaining.
Martinez revealed that his captain "had no right" to be fit enough to play against United and has admitted that the gamble could result in the skipper having played his last bit of football this season.
The Spanish boss said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo: "We pushed ourself to the maximum. Someone like Phil Jagielka, how he got through the game when he had no right to be fully fit, I don’t know.
"He is going to be missing now for the next few games. I think it’s too early to know if he’s going to miss the rest of the season or whether he will make the last game of the season."
Martinez also confirmed that the Toffees will have veteran midfielder Gareth Barry and right-back Seamus Coleman missing for the visit of Bournemouth to Goodison Park on Saturday.
He added: "Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman will be missing and Ramiro Funes Mori is in the second game of his suspension. We’ll have a little bit of a weak back four in terms of the bodies missing. Maybe we’ll have a good opportunity for some young player to come along."
Everton are on a seven-match winless run in the Premier League, having picked up just three points from those fixtures, and are six points adrift of a place in the top half of the table with just 12 points left to play for.