Ivory Coast have been dealt a huge blow with the news that Everton striker Arouna Kone will not be available for the World Cup 2014 after undergoing surgery in order to remove a cartilage problem in his knee.

Ivory Coast have a plethora of strikers capable of leading the line, but Kone has been one of the finest replacement for captain Didier Drogba in the recent months. He has not played for Everton or the national team since October. No, he has undergone an operation in order to rectify the problem in his knee.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said that he is almost sure that Kone will not be taking part in the World Cup. This leaves Ivory Coast manager Sabri Lamouchi with a problem on his hands, as he has to come up with a replacement striker with only a few matches to test him within the team. Ivory Coast will come up against Colombia, Greece, and Japan in the World Cup. This has given the African nation a great opportunity – unlike Ghana who have been given a tough group – to reach the knockout stages of the competition.

They are aware that they cannot only depend on the 36-year-old Drogba, who has been a talisman for the team over the years, to come up with the goals.

“I don’t think we will see him [play again] this season. It has been a major surgery and it is more realistic to see him come back in pre-season,” said Martinez. Kone would have wanted to be part of the Everton team much more than he has done this season. Everton have been flying under the stewardship of Martinez. They are in with a shout to finish in the top four ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United, which would be a major achievement indeed.

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