Gylfi Sigurdsson's World Cup hopes are hanging by a thread after Sam Allardyce revealed that the Everton star may not feature again this season.
The Iceland international has spent the past month on the sidelines with a knee injury he sustained in the win over Brighton, and is working flat out to be fit in time to be part of his nation's squad for the international tournament in Russia this summer.
Speaking to the press (via th Liverpool Echo) ahead of his side's trip to Swansea City, however, Allardyce admitted that it was 'touch and go' over Sigurdsson's availability for the Toffees before the season ends - comments which could mean he may not make it in time to feature for Iceland.
The 63-year-old said: "It’s going to be touch-and-go whether Gylfi fits another game in this season. You wouldn’t expect so many injuries in the back-half of the season."
Allardyce also provided an update on knocks sustained by a couple of his other squad member as Everton looked to bounce back from disappointing home results against Manchester City and Liverpool by beating a resurgent Swans outfit.
He continued: "Idrissa Gana Gueye is okay. Phil Jagielka had a bit of a reaction but trained yesterday and he’s okay. We still have lots of long-term injuries which you wouldn’t expect in one season but we’re looking forward to Swansea now."
SA on the 2018/19 season: “Fans who have already spent their money on new season tickets - it’s at a record level - shows fans are already looking forward to next season.”— Everton Blue Army (@EvertonBlueArmy) April 13, 2018
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Wayne Rooney reacted angrily to be hauled off in last Saturday's Merseyside derby after an hour, with the boyhood Blue venting his fury after being replaced by Gueye at Goodison Park in the 0-0 draw.
Allardyce admitted in the aftermath of that clash that no player was above being substituted, and he reiterated that stance after being asked about the incident again by the assembled journalists.
He added: "I substituted three players last week and there’s no problem with any of those players. The [midfield] role is one he’s told me he wants to play many times. You make a decision on the day to try and help the team get a victory and you do that by making substitutions.
"The reaction of a player is to be expected. One would ask him not to do it in the public eye but sometimes that can’t be helped. He’s an Everton man and being an Evertonian, that can happen sometimes."