Fabian Delph has been told to 'take his time' and recover 'properly' from the calf injury which has kept him out of the re-start to Everton's season.

The midfielder will miss Monday's trip to Tottenham Hotspur having already been sidelined for the games with Liverpool, Norwich City and Leicester City - and it is unclear when the Blues think he will return.

Delph has endured a frustrating first season with Everton in which injuries and suspension have seen him miss half of the side's league games but Carlo Ancelotti is not rushing him back to action.

The Blues boss wants Delph, who was signed from Manchester City last summer for £8.5m, to concentrate on putting his fitness problems behind him.

“Mentally he is a player with experience and is strong," Ancelotti said.

"He knows injury can happen.

"Unfortunately he knows it has not been a good season for him.

"We have given him the opportunity to recover properly and take his time to recover well and properly.”

Ancelotti has limited central midfield options at the moment with Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin out injured and Morgan Schneiderlin having been sold to Nice.

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The Blues boss has so far used Andre Gomes and one of Gylfi Sigurdsson or Tom Davies as his partner.