Ronald Koeman’s worries over James McCarthy’s fitness have been realised with the Everton midfielder set to miss several weeks.
McCarthy has suffered a torn hamstring after Koeman recently criticised Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill of “killing” the player.
Toffees manager Koeman was angry that the 25-year-old started both of his country’s World Cup qualifiers in the space of four days having not played for six weeks following surgery on a groin injury.
“When James came back from Ireland, the message from Everton’s medical staff was that he was massively overloaded,” Koeman said.
“It’s ridiculous that he has surgery, five to six weeks out, three training sessions, plays 90 minutes and then, after three days, he plays another 80 minutes.
“Play him for 45 minutes, 60 minutes, but not 95 minutes after five to six weeks out. The second time, 80 minutes! You are killing the player.
“Ireland know what I think about it. I hope for more protection for players in the future.”
McCarthy went on to appear as a late substitute in the draw at Manchester City, but missed the defeat at Burnley on Saturday and now faces another spell on the sidelines.