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Baines closes on comeback

England left-back Leighton Baines could be back in action on Boxing Day, Everton boss Roberto Martinez has revealed.

Last Updated: 20/12/13 at 14:14 Post Comment

Leighton Baines: Close to Everton comeback

Leighton Baines: Close to Everton comeback

Baines has been out of action since fracturing a toe in the Merseyside derby with Liverpool on November 23.

Sunday's match at Swansea comes too soon for Baines, but Martinez is not yet ruling him out of the Boxing Day match with Sunderland.

"He is not far away," Martinez said.

"He trained at the beginning of the week and we are going to assess how he responds to it.

"I expect Leighton to be available probably, if it is not this weekend, then the week after.

"It is just measuring well that we don't rush him back too early. But I would say he is not too far away, which is a beautiful Christmas present as you can imagine.

"If he has no reaction, he will be available to play on the Boxing Day, or possibly even earlier. But it just depends on how the next two days show up in his foot."

Darron Gibson and forward Arouna Kone remain on the long-term injured list, and Martinez expects to dip into the transfer window in January - though he would not be drawn on whether Manchester United's Wilfried Zaha is a target.

Martinez also said he had not had any approaches for striker Nikica Jelavic or defender Johnny Heitinga.

The pair have been left out for most of the season, but Martinez said: "They are two players with incredible experience and they have been very important day-to-day.

"I can understand their frustration and down to the respect for what they have done I will always be helpful and try to understand their position.

"They are full internationals and looking to get to the World Cup, so you understand they have to play minutes, but in many ways I would love for them to stay here and play their role as they have been doing until now."

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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