Everton have sent their best wishes to defender Joseph Yobo following the kidnapping of his brother in Nigeria.
Gunmen abducted Norum Yobo at around 4am on Saturday as he made his way home from a nightclub in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Kidnappings in the oil-rich Niger Delta region are usually followed by ransom demands, although there is yet to be any contact with the offenders.
Yobo is on holiday in Lagos and was due to return from his homeland next week for pre-season training.
Everton confirmed they are not expecting the 27-year-old back any time soon, though, adding that the thoughts of everyone connected with the club are with Yobo and his family.
"We have sent a couple of messages to Joseph offering any assistance that we can provide him," said club spokesman Ian Ross.
"He had been given leave to return late to pre-season training next week because of his international duties for Nigeria this summer.
"Obviously, this family misfortune means he will stay out there for the foreseeable future. Things like this put football and life in perspective.
"The thoughts of the players, management, staff, fans and everyone connected to Everton FC are with Joseph and his family at this time.
"We can only hope that Joseph's brother is released without harm."
Details of the abduction were confirmed by Cyril Dumite, deputy chairman of the People's Democratic Party, which is the ruling party in Rivers State.
Norum Yobo was one of three men taken from their car at gunpoint, although Barry C Lakara and Ifeanyi Nwa were later released.