Everton captain Phil Neville has suffered an injury setback that could see him miss up to three more weeks.
The former Manchester United star tore a cartilage in his knee against Fulham in September and was expected to return this week but the latest news is that he has suffered a setback and will require surgery to repair minor tears.
Neville was close to making a return against old club United on the weekend but did not come up so was rated a certainty to be back for the Merseyside derby with Liverpool in Sunday.
But this piece of news has scuppered those ideas and dampened the spirits of Toffees boss David Moyes.
"When I knew about the operation I was disappointed because Phil is one of the players we knew was closest to coming back to help us," Moyes said.
"We have Europe and games next week and a real tough period, and we probably don't have too many people due back in the near future.
"He was close to playing against United and I thought he would probably have played somewhere this week," he added.
"The injury he had against Fulham did not require surgery but the scan showed there was a little bit of damage to his cartilage and he had micro tears.
"He trained all last week with the players and had been good. The on Friday they sent him for another scan and that showed that the micro tears had become bigger so they are opening the knee up to see what they need to do."