Everton’s John Stones could be out for up to eight weeks

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Bad news out of Goodison Park today where it’s feared that defender John Stones could be sidelined for up to eight weeks with an ankle injury.

The injury was sustained last Sunday during Everton’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United. The 20-year-old starlet was carried off the pitch in the dying moments of the match after landing awkwardly during a header. The center-back is set to visit a specialist later this week.

An eight week recovery period would force Stones to miss Premier League games against Aston Villa, Burnley, Swansea City, Sunderland and West Ham United, plus two Europa League fixtures against Lille.

The news brings further darkness to an already bleak outlook to Everton, who currently sit forth from bottom in the league after securing only one victory in their opening seven fixtures. A major reason for the poor start has been the drab form of the back four with Phil Jagielka looking a shell of his former self, Sylvain Distin appearing aged and suffering from a thigh injury, Seamus Coleman missing the last three matches with a head injury and Leighton Baines being unable to offset the load.

If Distin can recover from injury, he’ll be Stones’ likely replacement although 32-year-old Antolin Alcaraz or 22-year-old Muhamed Besic, purchased this summer from Ferencvaros, could also feature.