Everton have been dealt a major blow on the eve of the Premier League season with England midfielder Ross Barkley facing up to six weeks out with a leg injury suffered in training on Friday, according to British media reports.
The 20-year-old will undergo scans on Saturday to determine the full extent of the injury which forced him to leave the club's training ground in a brace, the reports said.
If the injury is as serious as first feared Barkley could miss England's 2016 European Championship qualifiers against Switzerland, San Marino and Estonia.
Barkley enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season last term which culminated in selection for England's World Cup squad where he made three appearances.
He signed a new four-year contract at Goodison Park in July and has played in three pre-season games for Everton who open their league campaign at promoted Leicester City on Saturday.