McCarthy Still Absent For Blues

@Everton

Ronald Koeman says he is unsure James McCarthy will play again this season as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

The Republic of Ireland international has been absent since picking up the problem when away with his country for their World Cup qualifier against Wales back in March.

Koeman told the assembled media ahead of Everton’s trip to the Olympic Stadium to face West Ham United on Saturday that he is not certain when he will again be able to call on the midfielder.

“James McCarthy is still separate from the group,” said the Toffees boss. “I don’t know if he will be available until the end of the season. 

“We have four weeks to go and I don’t know if we will reach a good level physically to play. We will wait because it's not the first time he is out. We need to wait to see at what time in the season he will be back available.

"For Saturday, it is the same group, aside from Enner who is ineligible.”

Koeman also confirmed that Muhamed Basic will once again play for the Under-23s in their match against Chelsea on Friday. 

The young Blues can lift the Premier League 2 title with a win and will have the Bosnia international in their ranks as they look for the two points they need to seal the crown. 

“Mo will play his second game for the Under-23s,” he added. “He is working hard. He is close to being back.”

It will be prove to be a busy couple of days for Jonjoe Kenny. The Under-23s skipper will line up against Chelsea before linking up with the senior squad against the Hammers.

“Kenny will be on the bench on Saturday but will also play for the Under-23s on Friday night,” continued Koeman. “They are fighting for the title. I am not the manager who thinks always what is best for the first team. 

“He did the whole season with them, and even if he plays 90 minutes, he will be on the bench. Maybe it is a risk but I like to work like this.”


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