Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 26
Roberto Martinez confirmed, via the club's official website:
Stevie is going to be out and he is going to join Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo who are the only other two players that are not available.
Everton's bid to repeat last year's heroic 3-0 win over Arsenal took a big blow early in their match on Saturday, as Steven Pienaar was forced to leave the pitch with an injury within the first 10 minutes.
The South African took a knee to the back from Arsenal's Calum Chambers and was unable to continue, forcing Roberto Martinez to replace him with Leon Osman, as shared by the club's Twitter account:
Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe was disappointed for both the Toffees and neutral fans, as Pienaar adds an extra dimension to Everton's attack that they could have used against the powerful Gunners:
Disappointed Pienaar's off already. He and Baines were great vs. Leicester; remember when they were a killer duo? #EFC— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) August 23, 2014
According to the Liverpool ECHO's Greg O'Keeffe, Martinez had indicated the midfielder came into the match carrying a knock:
Martinez said in the week that Pienaar is carrying an injury at the moment and has to be strapped up to play— Greg O'Keeffe (@GregOK) August 23, 2014
Chambers' challenge didn't appear malicious in any way, and it seems likely the tackle indeed simply aggravated an already existing injury.
Osman looked very lively instantly, and Everton didn't look any weaker without their talismanic South African international. The Toffees took the lead after 19 minutes through Seamus Coleman, on their first chance of the match.
Pienaar has struggled with injuries in the past, and while it's too early to speculate on the severity of the injury he suffered on Saturday, back problems tend to take some time to properly heal.
Everton do have a capable backup in Osman, so the Toffees shouldn't struggle too much should Pienaar be sidelined for an extended amount of time.