Such bad luck! Everton defender John Stones entered the big time at the back end of last season with some inordinately mature performances for a then 19 year old.
He continued on a similar trajectory this season, taking advantage of injuries in the Everton defence to cement a starting place in the back line. And he almost immediately looked as if he’d been there for years.
So the news that he will undergo ankle surgery and be out for 10 to 14 weeks is a shocker for Everton and England.
Beyond the obvious short-term loss, it’s always a worry when a young player suffers an injury to a major joint. Jack Wilshere is an excellent example. He hurt his ankle as a teenager and there have been reservations about his fitness ever since.
Suffering this sort of knock so early in the career can weaken the whole body in future years. We sincerely hope that such problems don’t befall Stones because he looks nailed on to be a stalwart in the national team for years to come.
Everton fans: are you concerned about the manner of the injury so early in Stones’s career?