Everton boss David Moyes has confirmed that Darron Gibson is set for a spell on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury.
The midfielder has been an influential figure for the Toffees since joining from Manchester United in January.
He has thrived under added responsibility, with Moyes prepared to offer him the regular opportunities he was denied during his time at Old Trafford.
His efforts have taken their toll, though, and the Republic of Ireland international will sit out this weekend's trip to Queens Park Rangers after picking up a knock.
"It is going to be a big blow because he has played all the games (since signing) and we've not lost since he's been in the team," said Moyes.
"We always had a worry he may pick up an injury because we've had to play him regularly and when you have not played as regularly as he has for us it was always going to be a danger.
"But I've not been able to take him out. It is not an over-use injury, it is a ligament injury in his knee, so there is not much we could do about it."
While it remains to be seen how long Gibson will be out for, Moyes is hoping another January acquisition, Nikica Jelavic, will soon come back into contention.
The striker is edging his way back to full fitness and is expected to return to the Toffees fold ahead of the likes of Jack Rodwell and Leon Osman, who returned to reserve action in midweek.
"Jelavic played 45 minutes for Croatia so we are closer to getting him back available, I am not quite sure on the others yet," said Moyes.
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