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
Tuesday 07 January 2014
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."
Latest in Sport
Inside Lines: Others must take lead from Amir Khan’s courage
Manchester United injury news: Angel Di Maria unlikely to face Spurs as Marouane Fellaini's 'mystery illness' turns out to be rib injury
Arsenal vs QPR player ratings: Could anyone outshine new Gunners hero Alexis Sanchez and who was worse than villain Olivier Giroud?
Manchester City team news: Manuel Pellegrini hopes to have Vincent Kompany back for Burnley visit but hopes not to risk Stevan Jovetic
Neil Warnock sacked: Tim Sherwood fits role at Crystal Palace
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times