Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is set to miss the start of the Premier League season after undergoing surgery on a groin injury, while defender Ramiro Funes Mori has been ruled out for up to nine months.
Barkley had treatment on Wednesday, with the issue having prevented him from travelling to Tanzania and the Netherlands as part of the club's pre-season schedule.
The surgery is said to have been a success and it is hoped Barkley will be ready to return to action in four weeks, with Everton due to kick off their season at home to Stoke City on August 12.
Barkley, whose contract expires in June 2018, has been heavily linked with a move away from Goodison Park during the close season, with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United among the clubs credited with an interest in the 23-year-old.
Big-spending Everton’s signing of Davy Klaassen and their ongoing pursuit of Gylfi Sigurdsson, upon whom Swansea City have placed a £50million price tag, mean Barkley’s first-team opportunities are likely to be limited under Ronald Koeman if he remains.
Funes Mori, meanwhile, has had to undergo further surgery on a knee injury and has been sidelined for six to nine months.
The Argentine tore his meniscus while on international duty in March.