By DAN KARELL
Everton’s season has been rocked one day before it kicks off.
According to multiple reports in England, talented Everton midfielder Ross Barkley suffered a knee injury in training on Friday, one that could keep him out for anywhere from six to eight weeks. The club has not yet released an official statement, as they’re waiting on the results of medical tests to be administered to Barkley.
Barkley, who was rewarded with a new four-year contract in July, was a revelation for Everton last season, scoring six goals in 35 EPL games, and helping create many opportunities for Romelu Lukaku and co. with Barkley’s driving runs forward.
Everton start off the 2014-2015 season with games against Leicester, Arsenal, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, and Manchester United. Barkley’s injury could also rule him out of England National Team games in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers.
England face Norway, Switzerland, San Marino, and Estonia in their first four qualification matches.
Here are some more stories to catch you up around the world of soccer:
TER STEGEN BACK INJURY MORE SERIOUS THAN THOUGH
The back injury suffered by new Barcelona goalkeeper Marc Andre-ter Stegen earlier this week will keep him out longer than expected.
Barcelona announced that ter-Stegen will miss the next two-to-three weeks with a small fracture in his lumbar vertebrae, similar to what teammate Neymar suffered at the World Cup. New medical tests found the small fracture after the initial diagnosis was just a day-to-day injury.
With ter-Stegen out, fellow new signing Claudio Bravo is likely to be the man between the sticks for their final friendly match on Monday against Club Leon and next weekend in their La Liga opener against Elche.
SUAREZ TAKES PART IN FIRST PRACTICE WITH BARCELONA
Barcelona had a new face in training on Friday, making what he’d consider a long-overdue arrival in the club’s official training sessions.
Luis Suarez took part in full training with the first team for the first time since the CAS ruled that he was allowed to train and take part in promotional and marketing events set up by Barcelona, though not play in official matches. Suarez has been banned by FIFA since June 26 for his bite on Giorgio Chiellini and Suarez was unable to be part of anything soccer-related for both club and country until Friday.
“I am really happy to feel like a footballer again, and to be with my teammates,” Suarez told Barca TV. “I just couldn’t wait to get started. Now I’ll just have to wait to play again, make contact with the fans, and feel the sensation of playing in a stadium like the Camp Nou.”
Suarez joined Barcelona on July 11 for a reported £75 million. The 27-year-old forward is expected to make his club debut in Barcelona’s last preseason friendly on Monday against Club Leon at the Nou Camp.
El Tri forward Raul Jimenez has completed his move to Atletico Madrid, signing a six-year contract. (REPORT)
Per Mertesacker, just 29, has decided to call time on his international career after winning the World Cup in 2014. (REPORT)
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Colombian international Carlos Sanchez from Elche on a four-year contract. (REPORT)
New AS Roma signing Juan Iturbe scored his first goal for the club in a 4-1 friendly match victory over Austrian side Wiener Sportklub. (REPORT)
Nicklas Bendtner has landed on his feet, signing a three-year contract with Wolfsburg. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? How much do you see Everton missing Barkley? Do you see Bravo keeping the starting place after ter-Stegen returns? What do you think of Suarez’s comments after his first practice.
Share your thoughts below.