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Mirallas & Hibbert ruled out of Everton's trip to Stoke

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Mirallas ‘sure’ Moyes will stay at Everton
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Mirallas ‘sure’ Moyes will stay at Everton

Everton forward Kevin Mirallas and veteran defender Tony Hibbert have both been ruled out of Saturday’s trip to face Stoke City, manager David Moyes said.

The 25-year-old Mirallas had been sidelined since picking up a hamstring injury in November and made a comeback last weekend, but now Moyes expects the Belgium international to return to the treatment table for another two weeks.

"It looks as though we'll lose Kevin for a few weeks and that’s a really big blow," Moyes told reporters. "His hamstring just isn’t right, so it looks like we are going to have to take more time over it. It will probably keep him out for a while.

"We originally thought it would be a mild hamstring injury and we gave it extra time, and I was actually expecting him to be available for the mid-week Arsenal game. I didn’t then use him in the Manchester City game in the hope that he would be right for the Tottenham. We gave it extra days to get him right but we will now need to take even more time, unfortunately.

"He will be a big miss for us, because he gives us a different attacking dimension from what we have got."

Hibbert, meanwhile, has not recovered fully from the calf injury that forced him to sit out recent games against Arsenal and Manchester City, with the defender set to undergo surgery on Monday.

"Tony has got a recurrence of his calf injury so we think he is going to have an operation at the start of next week which will keep him out for a while as well," Moyes said. "We've got a few niggles and knocks like everybody else, the odd one or two here, but I think it's going to be like that around this time of year. You can pick up an injury in training nowadays and the players are right in the middle of the cold weather in training."

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