Sol Campbell and Les Ferdinand failed late fitness tests and joined Steffen Freund, Steffen Iversen, Mauricio Taricco and Ben Thatcher on the sidelines.
It meant a young-looking side at Goodison Park including Stephen Clemence (22), Gary Doherty (20), Luke Young (21) and Ledley King (20) and an inexperienced bench of outfield players that only have a handful of Premiership appearances between them.
So it was no surprise that Everton, albeit on a rocky run themselves, had the majority of the play and created the better chances and it was praise well deserved for a defensive job well done.
Boss George insisted: “We are hit badly by injuries. With the players we had out there, I'm delighted with that result.
“Just look at what we had on the bench, they only had a few league games between them. That shows how short we are of fit players.
“Performance-wise it left a lot to be desired but what was more important was the result.
“We dug in at the start of the second half and just said we don’t want to be beaten. I’ve got to look at the plusses in situations like this and that was a big plus considering our away form.”
George rightly singled out goalkeeper Neil Sullivan for special praise — one save from a Kevin Campbell header was right out of the top drawer — and revealed that Sergei Rebrov defied illness to play.
He added: “Neil Sullivan made two outstanding saves, Ledley King was outstanding in midfield. Rebrov has been ill all week and really shouldn't have been out there, but we had nobody else.
“The boys worked very hard.We stood our ground in the second half especially, withstood a lot of pressure from Everton.
“Even with all the injury problems Everton have got this is never an easy place to come to. It’s always difficult, no matter what team they put out.”
The draw maintained our unbeaten run since the turn of the year.
Listen to George's thoughts by clicking here
By Paul Miles at Goodison Park
George Graham praised the players after his injury-ravaged side dug in for a Premiership point at Everton.