By Alex Taylor

Everton midfielder James McCarthy has been ruled out for up to three weeks after undergoing groin surgery, according to a reliable journalist.

McCarthy, 25, joined the Toffees from Wigan in 2013 under then-manager Roberto Martinez.

Daily Express football reporter Paul Joyce shared the news via his personal Twitter account on Thursday afternoon.

McCarthy has featured 116 times for the Goodison Park outfit, scoring five goals and providing nine assists.

The box-to-box midfielder now faces an extended spell on the sidelines and, after the arrival of Idrissa Gueye this summer, will be fearing for his starting place in Merseyside.

Despite McCarthy’s injury, new manager Ronald Koeman has a wealth of midfield talent at his disposal, with Gareth Barry, Tom Cleverley, Darron Gibson and Ross Barkley all battling for midfield spaces.

Koeman has been joined at Everton by new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri this summer, who sanctioned deals for Ashley Williams, Yannick Bolasie and Gueye before the 2016/17 season got underway.  

The Ireland international’s threatened place in the Blues squad was recently listed as the reason Everton did not complete the signature of Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle on transfer deadline day, despite making a £30million bid for the attacker.

McCarthy will now be hoping to be back fit for his side’s home clash with Crystal Palace on Friday 30 September.

The injury means he could miss matches against Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Bournemouth before his return.

In other Everton team news, starlet Shayne Lavery wants to emulate Seamus Coleman and become a regular senior player for the Toffees.