Everton have received a potentially significant boost after it was revealed Abdoulaye Doucoure’s injury isn’t as bad as first feared.
The influential 28-year-old, who has been one of the Toffees’ standout performers in the opening weeks of the new campaign, picked up a foot problem in the 1-0 defeat against West Ham United last time out.
Originally, reports suggested Doucoure could be sidelined for up to seven weeks due to the stress damage in his metatarsal, but The Athletic’s Everton reporter Patrick Boyland has now provided a positive update on the situation.
He tweeted: “It is hoped that Doucoure will only be out for 5/6 weeks – better than feared but still a big blow… Our understanding is that it’s a very similar injury to one sustained last season but the issue appears less severe this time.”
News that Doucoure could return to action sooner than first thought should leave Everton fans feeling delighted, given his importance to Rafa Benitez’s side.
The Frenchman has been in fine form at the start of the season, bagging two goals and providing four assists in just eight Premier League outings – bettering his output from last term already.
Boyland went into further detail regarding the box-to-box dynamo’s injury status in his report, stating: “The Athletic understands that the issue, stress damage in the metatarsal, could cause Doucoure to miss up to six weeks, although thankfully it is not likely to require surgery.”
But despite the good news regarding Doucoure, Benitez will still be concerned over his engine room options while the 6-foot maestro is on the treatment table.
Fellow midfielders Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph will leave the Blues extremely short of options in the engine room when Watford visit Goodison Park over the weekend.
It means the likes of Tom Davies, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Tyler Onyango will have to step up in Doucoure’s absence, gifting the youngsters a rare chance to start and subsequently impress.