Everton now sweat on Vitalii Mykolenko fitness after Nathan Patterson blow
Vitalii Mykolenko is nursing a new injury worry for Everton after he missed Ukraine’s Nations League meeting with Scotland on Wednesday, he revealed to Ukrainian media.
The left-back sat out the international clash on 21 September after feeling “discomfort” in the Premier League win over West Ham at the weekend (18 September), and while he says it should be “fine” it is an additional concern for Frank Lampard.
The Toffees boss saw his starting full-back on the other side Nathan Patterson stretchered off after starting the same game for Scotland, while he already has centre-backs Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate out.
Speaking to official Ukrainian FA media before the game at Hampden Park Mykolenko said: “Probably, I won’t be able to help the guys tomorrow, because even now I’m not taking part in training and I’m not preparing for the match.
“I felt discomfort during the last match of the English championship, and today the doctors conducted an examination and said that everything is more or less fine, but we have to wait a little.
“If the coaches take me, I will prepare for the next meetings.”
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The precautions being taken by the Ukrainian set up may have avoided yet another injury blow to the Toffees defence.
But Lampard will wonder what curse has been put on defensive players in his squad as they continue to be beset by appalling luck in that department.
Steve Clarke admitted that it didn’t look good for his man to be stretched off, and his former Chelsea colleague back on Merseyside will hope that it is not a lengthy lay-off.
Any issues with Mykolenko would be a double-set back at a terrible time, just as the first win has been secured and the club is looking to build on a strong unbeaten run to move up the table.
The two young full-backs have been an integral part of the defence that has come on leaps and bounds this season, alongside the centre-back pairing of James Tarkowski and Conor Coady.
All four have only arrived at Everton in the past year but have transformed the fortunes at the back, so with most of the incumbent options already ruled out it would be a major blow for that four-piece to be broken up at all, let along halved, at this stage.