Everton provide fitness update on key pair after injury blows v Liverpool
By Dominic Toner
Everton have confirmed that Maarten Stekelenburg and James McCarthy will have their injuries assessed following the Merseyside derby.
Everton have confirmed on their official website that the pair will be assessed in the next 24 hours to determine the extent of their injuries.
The duo were both forced off the pitch on Monday night in the 1-0 defeat against bitter rivals Liverpool.
Goalkeeper Stekelenburg was forced off with a dead leg in the second-half and McCarthy was substituted at half-time after picking up a hamstring injury.
Ronald Koeman will be hoping for positive news as his side face league games Leicester, Hull and Southampton in quick succession, beginning on Boxing Day at the King Power stadium.
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Stekelenburg was on course to help his side keep a clean sheet against the free scoring Liverpool, but his replacement Joel Robles conceded a 94th minute goal in unfortunate circumstances.
Substitute Daniel Sturridge saw his scuffed shot hit the post and Sadio Mane tapped in the winner to secure three points in the Premier League.
Stekelenburg, 34, has emerged as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper following his summer move from Southampton and made 18 appearances across all competitions.
McCarthy could be facing a longer spell on the sidelines if his hamstring injury is serious, which could leave Koeman with limited options in midfield.
The central midfielder has started the club’s last three league games and was enjoying his best run in the side this season, but his momentum could now be halted.
The 26-year-old has been fighting for a starting place under Koeman and has experienced option Gareth Barry has been preferred for the majority of the season, but there are doubts about him playing too many games.
In other Everton team news, this key forward has been ruled out of the Boxing Day match against Leicester.