Everton’s tough start to the campaign from a personnel standpoint has continued on Saturday evening.
Frank Lampard’s troops, of course, are currently locked in action, in the club’s 2022/23 Premier League season opener.
Tasked with getting the better of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, the Toffees headed into proceedings already sans the services of star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
This comes after the England international was ruled out long-term, owing to a knee injury picked up in training during the week.
In turn, the last thing which those of an Everton persuasion would have wanted to see was another key member of Lampard’s camp being forced into a premature departure from proceedings against Chelsea.
This, though, is precisely what was forthcoming inside the opening quarter of an hour at Goodison Park.
The player hauled off? Ben Godfrey.
After throwing himself into a challenge with Kai Havertz in the hosts’ penalty area, and winning the ball clean, it quickly became clear that Godfrey had emerged from the exchange much the worse.
Replays, in turn, showcased the defender’s right foot catching badly in the turf, before twisting violently underneath the weight of his body.
As Godfrey lay in agony on the pitch, the Everton medical team quickly came to his aid, culminating in a lengthy stoppage in play as the 24-year-old was fitted with a leg brace, and provided with an oxygen mask.
After a full seven minutes, he was then stretchered from the field of play, replaced in the Toffees’ backline by Mason Holgate.
It now remains to be seen just how long Godfrey is set to spend on the sidelines.