Leighton Baines due to make return for Everton in Premier League game against Norwich

The left-back has been out since injuring his foot against Liverpool

Everton defender Leighton Baines is set to return to action this weekend but Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka are likely to be sidelined for another fortnight.

Manager Roberto Martinez is confident his England left-back will be fit for the visit of Norwich after sitting out the FA Cup win over QPR with a back spasm.

"Leighton Baines was just a back spasm and he is recovering as we expected so I don't think he's going to be too far from being able to train," he said.

"I would say Leighton will be back in training on Thursday. We'll then have to assess him.

"Back spasms can be cleared completely or they can leave you a little bit with a lack of mobility.

"Any player needs to be 100 per cent to be able to play and to be considered to play, so we'll assess Leighton on Thursday, see how he is and take it from there."

The hamstring injuries sustained by Baines' defensive colleagues are, however, set to keep the pair out for possibly another two weeks - although that would still be timely as Everton have an FA Cup fourth round tie at Stevenage followed a couple of days later by a trip to Anfield in the Merseyside derby.

"Sylvain and Phil Jagielka both have got probably a period of between seven and 10 days, but I would say two weeks is the most realistic time," Martinez told evertontv.

"But they are players who recover really well from these sorts of soft tissue injuries. They are not major problems."

On-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu is also on course to recover from his hamstring injury by the end of the month.

The 19-year-old returned to his parent club for treatment and Martinez said his situation was progressing in line with estimates.

"He is well on the period we expected. The reports were very positive and he is recovering well but there is still a long way to go," added the Spaniard.

"It is not a straightforward injury Gerard has but we are positive by the end of January he will be at full fitness.

"Barcelona have been very professional and we benefited from that."

"We've got a good period now with good games and a little bit of a rest period in between, so we'll use that to our advantage," he added.

"Then we're going into the end of January and beginning of February and another very busy period, so we need to make sure we don't carry any injuries with us."

Martinez is pleased with how his squad have dealt with the injuries over the busy festive period and while he is still looking for a couple of additions in the transfer window - to offset the likely departures of Nikica Jelavic and John Heitinga - he is wary of upsetting the harmony within a tightly-knit squad.

"What has been important for us is to see how the squad would react in this demanding period," said the Toffees boss.

"What we cannot afford it is to lose what we have got and we have something special in that dressing room.

"The last thing we can afford is for someone (a new signing) to dislodge or affect the dynamic of the dressing room."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?