Ancelotti details Rodriguez injury due to “mistimed” Van Dijk tackle

Carlo Ancelotti has revealed James Rodriguez will be unavailable for Everton’s trip to Southampton on Sunday after being injured by Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk fouled the Colombian early in a tempestuous Merseyside derby which saw the spoils shared in a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.

Rodriguez completed the game but will be out for the Toffees’ trip to St Mary’s as they bid to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Ancelotti said: “Unfortunately, James had a problem during the game.

“He had a mistimed tackle with Virgil van Dijk at the beginning of the game and I think he will not be available for the game against Southampton.”

Rodriguez will miss the trip to Southampton

Van Dijk himself was injured later in proceedings after Jordan Pickford clattered into the former Saints defender.

Pickford controversially escaped punishment after VAR adjudged Van Dijk to be in an offside position, with the Reds star now facing several months on the sidelines.

The England goalkeeper has faced much criticism for the challenge, including being labelled “stupid” by Van Dijk’s teammate for club and country Gini Wijnaldum.

But Ancelotti sprung to the defence of his shot-stopper.

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“To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk,” added the Everton boss. “Every one of us hopes he can recover soon and well.

“There was this contact with Jordan Pickford: it was mistimed contact. But the fact the Premier League is so fast, it is not so difficult to arrive a little bit later.

“Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball. It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk. To say it was premeditated, and this and that, in my opinion, is too much.

“Virgil van Dijk knows this. Jordan is really sad, really disappointed (that he is injured). It was a strong contact, maybe mistimed, but sometimes in football it can happen.”

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