Everton hit by injury blow ahead of Merseyside derby
FOOTBALL: Everton and Tottenham have been dealt serious injury blows as the English Premier League returns to action this weekend.
Both Spurs forward Erik Lamela and Everton defender and fellow Argentine Ramiro Funes Mori have been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Funes Mori was stretchered off with a torn meniscus in the first half of Argentina's World Cup qualifier against Bolivia in La Paz earlier this week.
"He will have a surgical opinion next week but the initial diagnosis suggests the 26-year-old is likely to be out of action for the rest of the campaign," his club said in a statement.
It is another blow for Everton manager Ronald Koeman ahead of Saturday night's Merseyside derby against Liverpool.
Everton had already lost right-back Seamus Coleman for several months with a double fracture of his leg playing for the Republic of Ireland against Wales last week.
Midfielder James McCarthy aggravated a hamstring injury in the warm-up to that game and may not be fit to feature against Liverpool.
Lamela will undergo hip surgery on Saturday after being sidelined since November. Despite a lengthy period of rehabilitation "he has been unable to reach the stage required to make a full return to training", the club said.
There's better new for Chelsea with Belgian internationals Eden Hazard (calf) and Thibaut Courtois (hip) returning to training ahead of the clash with Crystal Palace.
Hazard missed a win over Stoke and withdrew from the Belgium squad, while Courtois missed his country's international friendly with Russia.
Saturday night: Liverpool v Everton 9.30pm; Chelsea v Crystal Palace, Man United v West Brom, Leicester City v Stoke City, Watford v Sunderland, Burnley FC v Tottenham, Hull City v West Ham midnight. Sunday: Southampton v Bournemouth 2.30am; Swansea City v Middlesbrough 10.30pm. Monday: Arsenal v Man City 1am (times AEST)