Dec 17, 2013, 1:41 PM EDT
When Everton’s new golden boy, 19-year-old Gerard Deulofeu went down in pain last weekend many feared the worst.
If completely ruptured, the Barcelona loanee could need surgery and three months of rehabilitation.
Fortunately for the Toffees, Monday’s examination brought good news as Deulofeu was diagnosed with a torn hamstring that will keep him out for approximately five weeks.
“We had the scans and it was confirmed that he had a soft tissue injury in his right hamstring,” Martinez told Everton’s website.
“Now we need to make sure that he recovers well. We don’t think he’s going to be out for too long – probably the best part of five weeks. But knowing Gerard, he’s a sprinter, and we need to make sure he is fully fit. You don’t want to have a problem with these sort of injuries for the future.”
Since arriving at Goodison Park last summer Deulofeu has been eased into the club’s side, with boss Roberto Martinez impressed by his ability to handle the English game.
After starting and scoring against Stevenage in the second round Capital One Cup victory and starting against Fulham in the next round’s loss, Deulofeu filled the role of super-sub until late November. Then, with Kevin Mirallas struggling, Martinez handed Deulofeu his first league start and the Spaniard didn’t disappoint, scoring the third goal in a 4-0 romp over Stoke City.
After crippling Manchester United with his speed in a substitute role the following week he did the same to Arsenal a few days later, adding a crucial goal to ensure his side a share of the points. Having endeared himself to fans many expected Deulofeu to play a major part in the club’s season but dreams were dashed last Saturday when he pulled up lame against Fulham, screaming in pain while being carted off.
Fortunate for the club, the scan results indicate that Deulofeu could return in time for the trip to West Brom on January 20th.
With Deulofeu out, Martinez will continue to deploy his favored front four of Mirallas, Ross Barkley and Steven Pienaar behind Romelu Lukaku. The resurgent Leon Osman will continue to provide support in the middle three where needed while the effervescent Steven Naismith could also earn some late-match minutes.
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