Martinez delivers latest Everton injury update ahead of Arsenal clash

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is positive that Ross Barkley will be available to face Arsenal on Sunday

Everton manager Roberto Martinez Photo: Everton FC

Roberto Martinez is confident that Ross Barkley will be in the Everton squad to face Arsenal at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The England youngster was forced off at half-time during his side’s 3-1 victory at Fulham after picking up a calf injury.

We’re very much positive he should be available for the squad on Sunday

Roberto Martinez

However, Martinez expects the 20-year-old to return to first-team training on Friday or Saturday ahead of the clash with their fourth-place rivals.

“He has two very good days since the Sunday incident. We’re going to assess him today,” Martinez told his pre-match media conference.

“I hope he can join the group today or tomorrow. We’re very much positive he should be available for the squad on Sunday.”

Martinez doesn’t expect Everton captain Phil Jagielka to return from a hamstring injury this weekend.

“We need to be very careful with Phil,” Martinez added. “We are very aware that we don’t get a re-occurrence. He is doing his individual programme and the medical department aren’t ready to allow him to join the group and be in the squad.

“I don’t think he will be available this weekend and we need to be very careful. He has played a lot of football and he even though he is ready to step up, we need to be careful.”

Martinez confirmed Republic of Ireland international Darron Gibson is on the brink of a return to first-team training after suffering a anterior cruciate ligament injury last in October.

“Darron is working really well and ahead of what we expected,” Martinez continued.

“I would be surprised if he doesn’t join the group next week.

“That doesn’t mean he will be involved on the pitch – it’s a bit too early to say that.

“But if he is progressing in the manner he has in the last two to three months, we can see Darron playing before the end of the season.”

He added: “He’s be showing signs of the knee being very strong and I’m confident he will be involved in one way or another before the season ends.”

However, the Everton manager doesn’t expect Arouna Kone to play any further part this season as the Ivorian recovers from a cartilage problem.

“Arouna is a bit different [to Darron]. He is recovering well but I don’t think we will see him this season.

“He has had major surgery and he is recovering well but I think it is more realistic to say Arouna will be back with the team in pre-season.”

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