South African to miss four games after missing Saturday's 1-0 win over Chelsea
Everton FC have been handed an injury blow with the news Steven Pienaar could be sidelined for the next month.
Pienaar missed Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Chelsea at Goodison having suffered an injury in training.
And the medical bulletin means Everton expect to be without the influential South African for the next three to four weeks.
However, next month’s international break means Pienaar may only miss four games – the Premier League trips to West Ham United and Manchester City, the visit of Newcastle United and the Capital One Cup third round tie at Fulham.
Arouna Kone was also absent at the weekend with a knee problem, although Everton manager Roberto Martinez is confident the Ivorian doesn’t face any extended spell on the sidelines.
Martinez said: “I think Steven Pienaar is going to be a little bit longer – it's a grade one soft tissue problem. But Arouna Kone shouldn't be too long.”
Meanwhile, Martinez is confident his team are capable of scoring goals despite their shot-shy start to the Premier League season.
While unbeaten in their opening four games, Steven Naismith’s winner against Chelsea on Saturday was only the third goal netted by an Everton player in the top flight since Martinez’s arrival.
Nikica Jelavic and Kone have yet to find the target while last season’s top scorer Marouane Fellaini and Victor Anichebe, who was the third-top scorer, both departed on transfer deadline day earlier this month.
Martinez, though, believes Everton don’t have to be reliant on one main goalscorer.
“The goalscoring ability of a team is one of the biggest points in being able to be successful,” said the Spaniard. “I don’t think you when you rely on one player you are going to be successful in the long-term.
“Clearly in the first three games we have not scored enough goals, apart from the Norwich game obviously.
“But we have been having opportunities and I like the way we have been controlling games. Now the work is to have enough goals in the side.
“I don’t think we can rely on one person, to rely on one player to score you 25 goals. Those players don’t exist, or if they exist they will move on after 10 months because that is the market forces.
“That is where the work is. We need to be able to score goals from all over the park and share the responsibility.
“And rely on our pattern of play to score goals, not on individuals or deadball situations. That is where the work is.”
While no team conceded more goals than Martinez’s relegated Wigan Athletic last season, the Latics scored more times than seven other Premier League teams.
And Martinez added: “Last season at Wigan we got relegated because we couldn’t defend well enough and that’s the top and bottom of it.
“Our goalscoring record was good enough to be top 10. We won nine games. More than many teams who finished in the top 10.
“So I think you need to understand internally how you get the results and what you need to improve. But the talent we have in this squad we are not going to have problems scoring goals.”