Senegal manager Aliou Cisse has told Senegal 7 that Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye could remain sidelined for Sunday's clash against Madagascar with a knee injury - which could benefit Everton in the long run.
The 28-year-old midfielder missed last Saturday's disappointing draw with Huddersfield at Goodison Park due to the injury, and it is now likely to prevent him from featuring on Sunday.
The news will come as a huge concern to Everton fans and Toffees manager Marco Silva, with Gueye becoming an integral figure to the Everton side since his move from Aston Villa in the summer of 2016.
Cisse was asked about Gueye's fitness ahead of Sunday's clash, and reported that the midfielder had been sent to the national team's doctors to look at the issue. But, he stated that Gueye was unlikely to feature.
"Gana is uncertain, he has a sore injury on his knee. We will make the point with the doctor but it is uncertain for the match," Cisse said.
Clocking up 38 appearances in all competitions for Everton last season, Gueye could be suffering somewhat of a burnout after playing for Senegal at the World Cup in Russia.
Missing the Madagascar clash will worry Everton fans that Gueye may not be fit enough to return to face West Ham United on September 16 after the international break, but missing this weekend's clash could come as a blessing in disguise.
It may give Gueye the rest he requires to overcome the knock, and declare himself fit for the showdown against struggling West Ham at Goodison Park.