Everton defender Ben Godfrey will be out for three months after undergoing surgery on the leg he broke after just 10 minutes of the season.
Manager Frank Lampard is waiting to discover how long he will be without another centre-back as Yerry Mina will see a specialist later this week about the ankle ligament injury he also sustained in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.
Everton are trying to sign Wolves captain Conor Coady, potentially on loan, and their need for defensive reinforcements became greater when they lost two centre-backs on the opening day of the campaign.
Godfrey, who was hurt while challenging Kai Havertz, could in effect be out until Boxing Day, with Everton’s last match before the Premier League’s winter break scheduled to be played on 12 November. If he does not play then, the former Norwich man will have sat out 15 league games.
A three-month absence will end his faint hopes of earning a place in England’s World Cup squad. Godfrey has won two caps and was part of Gareth Southgate’s 33-man provisional group for Euro 2020, but was omitted when it was trimmed to 26 players.
Without Mina and Godfrey, Lampard, who has been using a back three, only has three senior options, in James Tarkowski, Mason Holgate and Michael Keane, though he moved left-back Vitalii Mykolenko into the middle when Mina went off on Saturday and captain Seamus Coleman should be fit soon.