Everton have been dealt a major blow on the personnel front as Nathan Patterson was stretchered off during the first half of Scotland’s Nations League clash with Ukraine at Hamden Park.
The 20-year-old Scot was making just his eleventh appearance for the Scots, but detailed with marking the dangerous Mykhaylo Mudryk, he went down with what looked like a knee injury midway through the first half.
Though he initially hobbled off the pitch, a stretcher was called for and the defender was clearly distraught as he was carried around the stadium to warm applause, being replaced in the Scotland XI by Aaron Hickey.
Of course, this will come as ill tidings both for Scotland but also for Everton, with Patterson having played every minute of their Premier League campaign and being particularly impressive in their first win of the season over West Ham last weekend.
The Toffees are already without defender Mason Holgate, Ben Godfrey and Yerey Mina, with Holgate and Mina expected back in October, while Godfrey will remain sidelined until the World Cup begins in November.
It leaves Everton short at the back, with veteran Seamus Coleman the only recognised option to replace the Scot, something that could prove tricky should Patterson’s injury turn out to be as serious as first feared.
Lampard’s side currently sit in 13th place, having drawn four and won one of their opening seven games of the campaign, and will be hoping to enjoy a less difficult season than they endured last time out, when they avoided relegation in the penultimate game of the season.