Everton's injury woes have grown after Ronald Koeman confirmed Sandro Ramirez and Davy Klaassen will miss Thursday's Europa League showdown with Hajduk Split.
The Toffees are 90 minutes away from booking their place in the group stages of the continental tournament, but must first see off Hajduk in the second leg of their play-off encounter in Croatia.
Sandro has missed the past two matches with a heel problem and was touch and go to feature against the Whites, but Koeman told the club's official site that his injury problems extended beyond the striker's absence in Split.
He lamented: “Sandro did not travel and neither has Davy Klaassen, who got a knock on his foot. Davy will be out for at least one week but he will be fit after the international break.
“Sandro is a doubt for Sunday’s game [against Chelsea]. James McCarthy has a knock on his knee and, also, normally after the international duty, he will be available.”
The trio join Ramiro Funes Mori (knee), Seamus Coleman (broken leg), Yannick Bolasie (knee) and Ross Barkley (hamstring) on the treatment table as the injuries begin to mount up in the Blues' senior ranks.
Sandro injury concerns really highlight how weak we are upfront..badly needs addressing this soon Everton— Mark (@Markthablue) August 21, 2017
The loss of that septuplet means that Koeman's squad is already stretching towards breaking point amid a run of three away games in the space of six days.
Everton managed to secure a 1-1 draw at the Etihad against Manchester City on Monday and, less than 72 hours after their clash with Hajduk on Thursday, take on Premier League holders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday lunchtime.
Koeman admitted that the schedule was far from ideal for him and his charges, but insisted that the tightly packed fixture list was a necessity if his troops harboured hopes of playing in Europe.
In a seperate article he added: “We know it will be difficult. It is a tough week after playing on Monday and then travelling on Wednesday.
“On Sunday at 1.30pm we will hear the referee’s whistle against Chelsea. It is difficult to compete with the strongest teams in the Premier League, with or without European football. We know European football makes it even tougher but that is what we like to have.
“We will prepare for each game one by one and do everything to get the best result out of every single one.
“We do have some injuries, which makes it difficult, but we will fight and give our maximum to play in Europe. For Everton, with the history of the Club, it is important to be part of Europe.”