Everton have confirmed that Jack Rodwell will be out of action for four weeks with a hamstring injury.
The England Under-21 midfielder limped out of last week's Europa League defeat to BATE Borisov and scans have confirmed that he will miss the festive period.
"The setback means the teenager will miss the hectic festive schedule, including games Sunderland, Burnley and Carlisle," read a club statement.
Rodwell has started 22 games for the injury-ravaged Toffees this season but will now join a lengthy list of absentees.
Manager David Moyes has been without the likes of Joseph Yobo, Sylvain Distin, Dan Gosling, Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka, Phil Neville, Victor Anichebe and James Vaughan in recent weeks.
"These things happen in football and you have to get on with it," explained a philosophical Moyes after seeing Rodwell pick up his injury last week.