Sunday 18 March 2018

James McCarthy ruled out of Everton opener with a knee injury while Wayne Rooney starts

James McCarthy
James McCarthy Sportsdesk

Ireland midfielder James McCarthy has been ruled out of Everton's season opener with Stoke on Saturday with a knee injury.

McCarthy sat out Everton's pre-season finale with Sevilla on Sunday, with Everton manager Ronald Koeman telling reporters after the game that he was held out due to a knee injury.

“James still has some issues on his knee so out of protection I left him out,” he said after the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.

Koeman said that the Ireland midfielder had made a return to training but that Saturday's season opener against Stoke would be too soon for him and fellow midfielder Ross Barkley, who misses out with a groin injury.

“We still have three players out on long-term injuries in Seamus Coleman, Yannick Bolasie and Ramiro Funes Mori, but they are doing well," Koeman told the club's official website.

“Ross and James are back in training but they are still not available for the weekend. Maybe after that, yes. The rest are ready to start.”

Meanwhile Everton striker Wayne Rooney is set to make his second Premier League debut for the Toffees after Koeman revealed that he had been selected to start this weekend.

“Wayne is back and he is showing his quality to the players,” the Blues boss told evertontv. “He is an important player and he is one of the team that will start this Saturday.

“We know at home that we have that fantastic support and hopefully we can get a good win this Saturday. It is always better to start at home than away. I think we have a little advantage having played two important games in Europa League qualifying.

“Everybody is looking forward to the start of the Premier League and is ready.”

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