Scans reveal anterior cruciate ligament damage
Everton FC midfielder Darron Gibson will undergo knee ligament surgery amid fears his season could be over.
With Goodison manager Roberto Martinez watching on from the stands, Gibson was stretchered off in agony after 37 minutes of the Republic of Ireland’s 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Kazakhstan on Tuesday in Dublin.
The 25-year-old returned to Merseyside yesterday where scans revealed damage to his anterior cruciate ligament that will require surgery.
While no timescale has been placed on Gibson’s absence, the lengthy rehabilitation period means he will not figure again this year and faces a fight to play again this campaign.
An Everton statement read: “The length of time the 25-year-old will be best determined once the surgery is completed.
“However, the scans did confirm to Everton’s medical team that no additional damage was sustained to the structure of the right knee, ensuring all treatment and rehabilitation will be focused on repairing the damaged ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).”
Speaking earlier yesterday, interim Ireland manager Noel King said: “I feel very bad for Darron Gibson, he’s not good. It’s awful. It might be a few months; it won’t be easy to get back this season.”
The injury is a devastating blow to Gibson, who had only recently returned to fitness after missing the start of the season with a different knee problem.
Gibson had not featured under new Everton manager Martinez until a substitute appearance in the Capital One Cup defeat at Fulham last month, with his only Premier League outing another run-out from the bench at Manchester City on October 5 that prompted an international recall.
Gibson made himself unavailable for his country after failing to kick a ball in Euro 2012 but the recent departure of manager Giovanni Trapattoni led to a recall for Ireland’s final two World Cup qualifiers, and he played 90 minutes against Germany last Friday.
With loan signing Gareth Barry and fellow Ireland international James McCarthy having arrived last month, Gibson was already facing a serious battle for a first-team spot.
Meanwhile, Leighton Baines has expressed satisfaction at his role in helping England secure qualification for next summer’s World Cup.
In the absence of injured left-back Ashley Cole, Baines supplied the cross from which Wayne Rooney nodded the opening goal of England’s decisive 2-0 win over Poland on Tuesday.
And Baines said: “There are the usual cliches of ’it’s about the team’ – but they’re very true.
“But if I reflect on my own performances, I’ve got to be pleased.”
On the finals, he joked: “I’m available, if invited! A lot can happen between now and then.
“But we start our preparation and can look forward to getting out there. It’s very special to play in a World Cup, to be in Brazil. Everyone’s fighting for their place.”
England manager Roy Hodgson yesterday refused to be drawn on who would be his first choice between Baines and Ashley Cole.
Asked if Baines was now the best left-back in England, he said: “Well that would be harsh on Ashley Cole – he is a fantastic player.
“He was injured for this game, it would have been a tough decision for me to make had he been (available).
“It’s going to be a battle I guess between those two to see which one can get his hand on the shirt and maybe I will be lucky enough to find a place to rotate or use them like I have done so far.
“I am lucky and happy to have two such good players and obviously I am not prepared to say this one is the undoubted number one.”
Everton resume their Premier League campaign against Hull City on Saturday, with Goodison hosting a special retro afternoon before kick-off in the Everton Fan Zone.
Former players, a retro band and a traditional adult Toffee Lady will set up home in the Fan Zone, which for the first time will also reopen after the game so supporters can get involved in post-match analysis with a former player and watch highlights of the game.
To bring the retro atmosphere to life, Everton are urging fans to dig out their retro shirts and scarves for the match.