Mirallas' season ended by injury
Published 22/04/2014 | 16:22
Everton's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League have been dealt a blow with the news Kevin Mirallas will miss the rest of the season.
The Belgian forward suffered a groin injury in the final moments of Everton's 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday and will be sidelined for three weeks.
That means he will not be available for the Toffees' remaining games against Southampton, Manchester City and Hull.
Everton reported the news on their website, saying: "Roberto Martinez today revealed that the Belgian has a small tear in his groin and will be out for the next three weeks."
Mirallas has scored eight goals for Everton this season, including three in the last four games.
He netted the second goal against United on Sunday, scoring from a tight angle after beating the offside trap.
Everton trail Arsenal by a point in the race for fourth place as they bid to finish in the top four for only the second time in the Premier League era.
Martinez will hope for better news to come on the injury front, with captain Phil Jagielka, Steven Pienaar and Darron Gibson all in line to return before the end of the season.
Martinez expressed his disappointment at the news but is confident Mirallas will be fully fit to take part in Belgium's World Cup campaign in Brazil.
The Toffees boss told evertontv: "Kevin's scans came back and they have revealed a small tear in his groin. He is going to be out for the season, which is a real disappointment and a shame because he was in a phenomenal moment of form.
"But the memory we have of his performance against Manchester United is a terrific image. The way he took his goal and how he was a dynamic force throughout the game, it was an outstanding performance.
"It's a great way to finish the season if it's the last game he is going to be involved in this campaign.
"It is not a major injury. It could be anything up to five or six weeks, and that's looking at the worst-case scenario.
"The most important aspect now is that we get him fully fit and ready to participate with Belgium in the World Cup."
Martinez also revealed that centre-back Sylvain Distin is unlikely to be fit for Saturday's game against Southampton because of a hamstring injury.