London: Everton defender Leighton Baines will be out of action for at least three months after an ankle operation, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.
Baines required the surgery to correct the problem he sustained in training on the eve of the Premier League campaign and the injury has now been successfully repaired.
The 30-year-old England international faces a period of rehabilitation before he can return to first-team action and will be sidelined until at least November.
"Left-back Leighton Baines has undergone a successful ankle operation but is set to be missing for the next 12 to 14 weeks," a statement on Everton`s website read.
Baines previously had ankle surgery in May, but returned to action in early August.
Speaking after Saturday`s game against Watford, manager Roberto Martinez said of the defender`s injury: "Everything had been perfect in Leighton`s programme and he worked extremely hard in pre-season.
"He looked refreshed, he looked strong and he look at a really, really good level.
"Then, in training, he blocks a ball and it hits him exactly in the same area where he had surgery (in May), with the unfortunate result that he`s going to be out for a while.
"It`s one of those tough moments that you have to take as a player but he knows we`re going to help him immensely, everyone will support him and we have to make the most of his other role, which is to be part of the group and be a leader while he`s getting back to full fitness."