EVERTON midfielder Darron Gibson is expected to be out of action for six to nine months after sustaining an injury in Ireland’s 3-1 win over Kazakhstan on Tuesday night.
He is likely to miss the rest of the season after damaging his cruciate knee ligament after a first-half challenge against Kazakhstan, which required him to be carried off with his knee heavily bandaged.
Ireland's interim manager Noel King spoke after Tuesday's World Cup Qualifer and said of the injury: "It wasn’t nice, and it doesn’t look the best." He added: "It's awful. It might be a few months. Won't be easy [for him] to get back this season."
The club confirmed on Wednesday in a statement that the Derry-born player will need surgery on his injured knee, after a scan showed damage to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
It also said: "The length of time the 25-year-old will be best determined once the surgery is completed. However, the scans did confirm that no additional damage was sustained to the structure of the right knee, ensuring all treatment and rehabilitation will be focused on repairing the damaged ACL."
Yesterday Gibson tweeted thanking fans for their support.
His latest injury will no doubt deal a tough blow for Everton boss Roberto Martinez, whose side have made a positive start to the season.
An earlier knee problem had ruled him out of the first few games of the campaign.
He had only just returned to international duty after making himself unavailable for Ireland following former manager Giovanni Trapattoni's decision to leave him sitting on the bench for the entire Euro 2012 finals campaign.