(Reuters) - Everton substitute Oumar Niasse scored with his first touch to salvage a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion but Saturday’s game was overshadowed when their Ireland midfielder James McCarthy suffered an horrific double fracture to his right leg.
West Brom went ahead when Jay Rodriguez slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the seventh minute after Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak struck a sublime pass in behind the defence with the outside of his right foot.
Things went from bad to worse for Everton, who fielded new signing Theo Walcott from Arsenal, when 27-year-old McCarthy sustained his injury after the interval as he tried to prevent West Brom’s Salomon Rondon from shooting.
“It’s a tibia and fibula fracture compounded, a very nasty injury,” Everton manager Sam Allardyce told reporters.
“He’s paid a heavy price for his bravery and commitment. It’s a big blow for him and us,” Allardyce said, adding that the midfielder would be operated upon as soon as possible.
McCarthy, whose season has been blighted by injury, was replaced by Wayne Rooney and taken to hospital before Senegalese substitute Niasse came on to volley the equaliser in the 70th minute for mid-table Everton, leaving West Brom second bottom.
Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis