sport

Everton sweat on Distin

Everton's Sylvain Distin could be out for the rest of the season with a hamstring problem.

The centre-back picked up the injury in Sunday's win over Manchester United and will be assessed further over the next 48 hours, with the club unable to clarify the extent of the problem.

Distin, 36 and with 31 league starts under his belt this season, will miss Saturday's trip to Southampton - a blow to Roberto Martinez's side as they continue to chase fourth place ahead of Arsenal.

Martinez said: "Sylvain had to come off against United and he won't be fit for this weekend.

"It is a little bit too early to know how long he is going to be out. I do think that over the next 48 hours we will have a clear idea of whether he will be available before the season ends."

Phil Jagielka is also still recovering from the hamstring problem that has kept him out since February, leaving John Stones and Antolin Alcaraz as Martinez's only options at the back.

Jagielka is in training but the Everton boss insisted he will not rush the England defender back because of Distin's predicament.

"Phil has his own programme and it is important that we follow that and we don't rush him. He has been involved with first-team training now and that is a really good sign," Martinez said.

"We want Phil back as quick as we can but not because of Sylvain. Phil is going to be fully fit very soon and I do expect that he will probably be able to make the squad against Manchester City on May 3 - that's always been the plan."

Midfielders Steven Pienaar and Darron Gibson (both knee), strikers Arouna Kone (knee) and on-loan Lacina Traore (hamstring) and defender Bryan Oviedo (broken leg) are all still out.