Everton have suffered a major blow after they confirmed Mikel Arteta has had more surgery on his injured knee after feeling further discomfort.
The influential Spanish playmaker has been sidelined since February after damaging ligaments in his knee.
He was making good progress, but he has now suffered a set-back after feeling discomfort in his knee – which has meant he will undergo a second operation.
Everton manager David Moyes revealed that the second surgery will set him back another six weeks.
“It is a real blow for him and us, because he would probably have been ready to join in training with the rest of the lads this week,” said Moyes.
“He had to go back for more surgery in Spain. I haven’t spoken to him since the operation on Tuesday, but it’s something we could have done without.
“One of the stitches that is holding the meniscus of the cartilage together has come away and he has had to go in to get it tidied up and repaired.
“It’s going to be at least another six weeks for him now.”