By Will Butcher

Ronald Koeman has revealed that Everton midfielder James McCarthy has been ruled out for the next two to three weeks with a hamstring injury.

The 26-year-old was forced off the field during the 1-0 Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool with the muscle injury, and could now be ruled out until the middle of January.

Speaking ahead of their Boxing Day clash against Premier League champions Leicester, Koeman told the club’s official Twitter account the bad news.

“James McCarthy is out, again a slight hamstring and of course that’s bad news as he was doing well… He will be out, I think, about two to three weeks,” said Koeman.

The Ireland international could now miss the matches against Leicester, Southampton and Hull, as well as the FA Cup clash against Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes on January 7.

McCarthy could return on January 15 against Manchester City, as Koeman looks to reignite the kind of form that saw the Toffees win five of their opening six games of the season.

The former Wigan and Hamilton midfielder will now be replaced by the likes of Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gueye and Ross Barkley as Muhamed Besic and Darren Gibson remain on the sidelines.

Three points against Leicester at the King Power in four days’ time will see the Toffees jump to seventh if West Brom and Southampton lose on Boxing Day.

In other Everton team news, Koeman also delivered an update on the injury sustained by £30million summer signing Yannick Bolasie.