Everton manager David Moyes believes that midfielder Leon Osman will be out for around six weeks after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.
The 29-year-old has not featured since the Merseyside derby win over Liverpool in mid-October, with the Toffees having hoped to have Osman back in action in a month.
Moyes commented: "He had an operation on Monday morning to take away a piece of floating bone from his ankle.
"We expected him to be out for four to six weeks, but we think he probably be out for another six weeks now. He seems fine. Hopefully this will help his ankle."
Meanwhile, Moyes has confirmed that Jack Rodwell will not start against Blackpool this weekend, despite making a quicker-than-expected recovery from an ankle problem.
Moyes added on the club's official website: "I think he's close, but I don't think he's quite ready yet.
"We included him on the bench last week in case we needed his height against Stoke City, but he's not fully confident on his ankle yet.
"He played 50 minutes in the reserves and will probably be included again, but I don't think he's ready to start and I think he would probably agree with that."