Marco Silva refused to criticise Colombia manager Carlos Queiroz after defender Yerry Mina sustained a “serious” hamstring injury while playing for his national team against Everton’s advice.
Mina was injured in Colombia’s 2-1 friendly defeat to South Korea on Tuesday, having also featured in Friday’s 1-0 win over Japan.
The 24-year-old, no stranger to setbacks this season, is facing another spell on the sidelines, and though Silva could not give a firm timetable for his return, he said he was sure Mina would play again this season.
Silva revealed he had told his fellow Portuguese Queiroz that the defender was not fit enough to play in both games for his national team over the break.
“We knew it could be a risk for him to play the two matches, it was something in our communication with the national team,” Silva said.
“We cannot control it, it’s their decision of course but we tried to advise them.
“It was always a risk for him to play in a short period the two games. They decided and unfortunately for us and for Yerry he took the injury.”
Asked he was angry or unhappy with Queiroz’s decision, Silva said: “It’s not a matter of being unhappy.
“My colleague is also Portuguese and we had this communication, but of course he decided the best thing for the national team was to always have the best players.
“Unfortunately for us and for Mina he has to stop again.”
Just how the long the big-money signing from Barcelona faces out remains to be seen.
“It’s not for the season,” Silva said. “Let’s see how many weeks he will be. Now is not the right moment to say how long but we expect to see Mina again here soon training and playing in our blue shirt.”
But Mina will certainly miss Saturday’s trip to West Ham, a key fixture for Everton against a side two points above them in the congested mid-table of the Premier League.
West Ham handed Silva his first defeat as Everton manager back in September – conversely a first win for Manuel Pellegrini as Hammers boss – but Silva believes much has changed since then.
“I think both teams are completely different now, which is normal within one season,” he said. “(The game in September) was completely different to the game we will play on Saturday.
“It will be a tough match, I don’t have doubts. In some moments they show inconsistency also but they have a strong team and their home form for the last few games has been really good.
“It will be a good challenge for us to go there and break that home form.”
Mina may be missing, but Silva expects Everton to benefit from Michael Keane’s experience with England over the last fortnight.
The 26-year-old played in both games for the national team, keeping a clean sheet in the 5-0 win over the Czech Republic and scoring in the 5-1 win in Montenegro.
“It was really important to see him with the smile on his face when he came back from the national team, for him and for us,” Silva said.