- Premier League
Barkley ruled out of Merseyside derby
Ross Barkley has been ruled out of the Merseyside derby after Everton confirmed he will be out for at least three weeks with a fracutred toe.
The midfielder sustained the injury during the 4-0 FA Cup third-round win over QPR on January 4, and missed last Saturday's Premier League victory over Norwich as a result.
Manager Roberto Martinez said on Saturday that he feared Barkley's toe could be broken, and Everton have now confirmed in a statement that there is a 'small fracture'.
The club added that, depending on how quickly the injury heals, he would be out for between three and six weeks. That means he is set to miss the trip to Anfield on January 28.
Martinez spoke at the weekend of his concern that Barkley's injury was similar to the one that kept Leighton Baines out for five weeks in the run up to the New Year after fracturing his toe in the 3-3 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.
"Sometimes, with these fractures, if they are well settled and there is no displacement of the bone, you can play straight away," Martinez said.
"With others, you need a couple of weeks. And with some, you need a little bit longer, as with Leighton. His was a bad one, so it took several weeks."
Barkley has established himself as an Everton regular this season and has also forced his way into the England squad, winning three caps.