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29 September 2009 10:22
Steven Pienaar is almost certainly out of Everton's Europa League clash with BATE Borisov on Thursday, but the club believe he is not due for a long spell on the sidelines.
The midfielder picked up a knee injury in Saturday's victory at Portsmouth, and has been on crutches since.
Everton's medical team have assessed the injury and hope that it is just heavy bruising.
Agony: Pienaar appeared to be in a lot of pain at Fratton Park
But they plan further checks this week and will have a better idea of the injury when the bruising has reduced.
Everton leave for Minsk on Wednesday for the Group I showdown, and Pienaar is highly unlikely to be involved and may well also miss Sunday's home league game with Stoke.
Physio Mick Rathbone said: 'There's no timescale at the moment but hopefully it will only be something short term. Steven took an almighty knock on the inside of the knee, so he is pretty sore.
'There's a lot of bruising and a lot of swelling around the area, so we've got him on crutches at the moment.'