Olivier Kapo looks certain to miss the start of the new season after tests revealed that the French midfielder had strained the anterior ligaments in his knee after landing awkwardly during Monday’s friendly draw against German Bundeslige side Hannover 96 in Austria.
Initial fears were that the 28-year-old had cruciate ligament damage which could well have written off the majory of the season for the former Juventus and Monaco player.
“But we are actually quite relieved because we thought it could be a lot worse,” manager Roberto Martinez told the official website from the side’s Austrian training camp.
“Our initial assessment was that it could have been a cruciate injury which can wipe out virtually a whole season, so in that sense we are actually quite happy it is not that serious.”
He added: “We have stepped up the intensity levels this week,” he said, “so we were always expecting the odd niggle because we are asking the players to do a lot.
“Charles N’Zogbia came off as a precaution against Timisoara with a slight stomach strain, for example, and Ben Watson missed the game because he had pain in a leg, but these are minor things which will heal themselves after a day or two’s rehabilitation.
“The facilities over here are excellent, so the players can do pool work or be in the gym if they are not able to train with the group, or they get individual routines to do.”
The season starts in earnest in little over three weeks time with a tough trip to Villa Park to take on Martin O’Neill’s side.