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Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 11:57 UK

Neville injury blow for Everton

Phil Neville (left) and John Pantsil
Fulham's John Pantsil calls for aid for Neville at Craven Cottage

Everton captain Phil Neville is set to be sidelined until Christmas after damaging knee ligaments in the Premier League defeat by Fulham.

But the 32-year-old, who was hurt in a challenge with Fulham's Dickson Etuhu, is unlikely to require surgery.

"Phil has torn his posterior cruciate ligament," Everton physio Mick Rathbone told the club's official website.

"The surgeon's feeling is that it won't require surgery but we're still looking at a Christmas/New Year return."

Rathbone said further assessment would take place in three weeks' time when the swelling around Neville's knee had gone.

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The former Manchester United player left Craven Cottage on crutches last Sunday and was examined by a specialist in London on Wednesday.

His absence means the club have problems on the right side of defence for the visit of AEK Athens on Thursday in the Europa League.

New signing John Heitinga is ineligible and Tony Hibbert is suspended after being sent off against Sigma Olomouc in the previous round.



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see also
Fulham 2-1 Everton
13 Sep 09 |  Premier League
Final place not enough - Neville
21 Apr 09 |  Everton
Gosling grateful for Neville help
29 Jul 08 |  Everton
Neville extends Everton contract
25 Jul 08 |  Everton


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