Everton have offered an update on Ben Godfrey after the defender had to be stretchered off with a very serious injury in the first half of their clash with Chelsea on Saturday night. Godfrey received lengthy treatment and oxygen on the pitch before being taken off on a stretcher with his injury, which at first appeared to be a possible broken ankle. Frank Lampard explained post-match that Everton believe Godfrey has fractured his fibula after getting his foot stuck in the grass.
Everton posted from their official Twitter account just after 6.30pm: “We can confirm Ben Godfrey has suffered a lower leg injury and has been taken to hospital. We’re all with you, @BenG0dfrey!” Lampard added post-match: “We think it’s a small fracture of his leg, his fibula. We’ll see how long that’ll be. It looks like his foot got caught in the grass.”
Godfrey went down just 10 minutes into Everton’s first match of the new Premier League season after sliding in to challenge Kai Havertz as the Chelsea striker made his way towards the near post down the Toffees’ byline. But the 24-year-old’s leg got caught underneath the tackle and the England youth international was left in agony.
The severity of the issue was immediately obvious to both his team-mates and the fans with a hush of silence following inside Goodison Park. The incident came after Godfrey had initially overhit a back-pass to Jordan Pickford. The ball went out of play but the officials did not spot it to award a corner, which allowed Havertz to steal in and attempt to break into the box.
In an effort to amend for his mistake and win back the ball, Godfrey slid in but suffered an ugly injury in the process and had to be replaced by Mason Holgate. Godfrey was seen to for several minutes by Everton’s medical staff.
He was eventually carried down the touchline towards the stadium’s Park End exit and was quickly taken to a local hospital for further treatment. It led to eight minutes of additional time in the first 45 minutes.
Everton had a number of injuries to contend with already before Godfrey’s blow. Frank Lampard was without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Andros Townsend, Andre Gomes and Tom Davies for the visit of his former club Chelsea.
There was more woe in the second half, too, when Yerry Mina went down with an apparent ankle problem and had to be taken off with 20 minutes to go, though he was able to walk off the pitch. Summer signing Ruben Vinagre came on to make his debut for the Merseyside outfit.
Jorginho put Chelsea 1-0 up before half-time at Goodison Park by scoring from the spot. Abdoulaye Doucoure had brought down Ben Chilwell just before the half-time whistle was sounded and the Italian midfielder sent Pickford the wrong way from 12 yards.
Sky Sports co-commentator Alan Smith meanwhile reflected of Godfrey’s injury: “It’s the worst news for any player. You work so hard during pre-season to get to the right level of fitness, look forward to the opening day and then an accident like that happens. He went into the challenge in a well-meaning way, trying to rescue his own mistake.”