Gibson injury blow for Everton
Everton midfielder Darron Gibson will be out for four to five weeks with a thigh strain.
- Related Content
The 24-year-old has figured in all three of the Toffees' Barclays Premier League matches so far this season but was forced off 20 minutes into the first half of the most recent contest, a 2-0 defeat at West Brom on September 1.
Toffees boss David Moyes, however, remains hopeful the former Manchester United midfielder could make a quicker-than-expected return.
24. Darron Gibson
The Scot explained: "Darron's got a thigh strain and will probably be out for four to five weeks now. He's had two weeks now so hopefully we are a couple of weeks down the line already because of the international break - so he may have only a couple of weeks to miss."
Gibson recently told Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni he was still suffering from the disappointment of playing a limited role at the Euro 2012 finals and did not want to be considered for selection in their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Moyes admits the loss of Gibson gives him a problem for the next few weeks.
With Moyes having let highly-rated young midfielder Ross Barkley go out on a month's loan to Sheffield Wednesday he admits his squad is slightly stretched ahead of Monday's visit of Newcastle.
"Darron's got a thigh strain and will probably be out for four to five weeks," said the Scot.
"He's had two weeks now so hopefully we are a couple of weeks down the line already because of the international break so he may have only a couple of weeks to miss.
"It is a concern for me because he has been very consistent and very good.
"It is a blow but we will have to find ways of getting around it.
"The Ross Barkley situation leaves us a bit tight in certain areas but I've taken that decision."
Fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini returned from international duty to find the manager waiting to have a word with him about comments he made while away with Belgium.
The 24-year-old told journalists from his homeland: "This will be one of my last seasons. I have seen everything. In January, or at the end of the season, I will look for another club or league."
Moyes felt Fellaini had been naive but insisted the matter was now closed.
"I think sometimes the players, when they go away on international duty, have their egos massaged and things are said when they maybe think they are talking to a different audience," he said.
"They think maybe they can say things which don't matter - well, it does matter and I've made Marouane aware of that.
"The transfer window shut a while ago so it doesn't really matter.
"These things happen, I've had a word with him and we move on."