Key Everton defender ruled out for nine weeks ahead of Sunderland visit

Phil Jagielka
Phil Jagielka

Everton have been dealt a major injury blow ahead of the visit of Sunderland after key defender Phil Jagielka was ruled out for up to two months.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said the England defender Jagielka could be out for "eight or nine weeks" with a knee injury.

Jagielka hobbled out of the Emirates Stadium on crutches on Saturday with his left knee in a brace following a challenge from Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the whistle had already gone for a free-kick.

‘When you lose a player an opportunity for another player arises, although clearly you don’t want to lose your captain,’ said Martinez afterwards.

Sam Allardyce takes his Black Cats squad to Goodison Park on Sunday for the lunchtime kick-off buoyed by his side's 3-0 derby day win over Newcastle United at the Stadium of Light.

Allardyce has injury concerns of his own though, with Ola Toivonen, Younes Kaboul and John O'Shea all picking up injuries in the win.

The trio are being assessed ahead of the weekend, with Republic of Ireland international O'Shea suffering from a hamstring injury.