Ronald Koeman says it could be eight months before Yannick Bolasie is back playing – as he prepares for a second bout of knee surgery.
The Everton winger suffered a severe cruciate ligament injury in December and has already gone under the knife to mend the meniscus in his knee.
But now the 27-year-old requires a second operation to repair to ligament damage he suffered in the game at Goodison against Manchester United.
After the Blues learnt the full extent of Bolasie’s injury they knew he would require two operations and extensive rehabilitation.
And though Koeman was unable to put an exact timescale on the £25m signing’s return, he says it could be near the end of the calendar year before he returns to the side.
“The surgery was expected because his first surgery was about his meniscus, now what will happen at the beginning of March is about his cruciate. it is difficult to put a time scale because normally a cruciate can be six, seven, eight months,” the Everton manager said.
“We had to repair the meniscus and then wait until his knee was ready to have the second operation.”
Bolasie has tried to remain positive throughout the set-back but Koeman admits that he will experience dark days.
Bolasie films himself rapping to grime tracks
“He was several times in during the week, he was ok, really positive, working hard to come back but like every player in that situation you get difficult moments in a day, difficult moments in the week,” Koeman added.
“He is positive about coming back as strong as possible.”