Everton’s medical staff are hopeful stricken midfielder Andre Gomes will play again before the end of this season.
Gomes suffered a fracture dislocation to his right ankle during Sunday’s Premier League draw with Tottenham following a challenge from Son Heung-min and was carried off on a stretcher.
The Portugal international underwent successful surgery on Tuesday and, despite the severity of the injury, club officials are optimistic he will return in 2019-20.
Speaking ahead of the weekend game with Southampton, manager Marco Silva told a news conference: “It’s not easy to give a sure date about when he will return but the feedback from the medical staff is that it is possible we will see him playing again this season.
“It looked like a really serious injury, but everything went really well and we hope we can see him playing again this season. Of course we are not sure.”
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The incident at Goodison Park left several players visibly shaken, particularly Son, who has been in touch with Gomes.
Silva added: “I think he received a text message from Son.
“Of course it was the toughest moment for Andre and the other players on the pitch. For the two players involved it was really tough. Most important is to give Andre all the support he needs in this moment.”
Son received a red card from referee Martin Atkinson although it was later overturned on appeal by the Football Association.
Silva refused to comment on the decision, saying: “I am not the right person, I am here to respect all the decisions and all the clubs taking these types of decisions [to appeal]. I’m not going to make a comment about the red card.
“I was the first one to say after the match that Son did not have bad intentions. After that it is for the referee to decide.”