McCarthy woe as latest injury leaves Koeman 'worried'
Everton midfielder James McCarthy is facing up to three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
Manager Ronald Koeman revealed the news yesterday as the Toffees prepared their St Stephen's Day trip to Leicester.
"McCarthy is out with a slight hamstring and that's bad news because he was doing well," said Koeman, who is also likely to be without goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
"I am worried because of James' many muscle problems but I think he can be back in two or three weeks."
Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku's agent said yesterday that a deal to keep the striker at Goodison was "99.9pc done".
"It is a big deal. The club need to keep their best players," said Koeman. "Of course, in football, you don't know what can happen in one year but at least there is an understanding that the boy likes to stay.
"Even when they sign new contracts, they don't say they will stay until the end of the contract. It is football and business. But if a new deal is done, that is good news."
Everton have often lost their star men to bigger clubs, and Koeman is keen to make it as difficult as possible for players to leave by making improvements on and off the field - which includes bringing in top-quality signings.
"Tottenham made a step last season, but it is really difficult for them to be close to the top," the Dutchman added.
"That seems to be more difficult for Everton. We know we need to battle for players and we have competition of (Manchester) United, (Manchester) City and Chelsea then it is difficult.
"But I still believe we need to get good players to make the next step."