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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Darron Gibson reported no adverse reaction to a 63-minute run-out for Everton's Under-21s on Sunday, according to coach Alan Stubbs.

Gibson, who had been sidelined by a thigh problem, made his first appearance since early September as the Blues' second string were held to a goalless draw by Reading.

"I thought he did great," Stubbs told evertontv. "He's come through the game unscathed so that's a plus point and it's good for him that he's come through it and it's a step in the right direction for his recovery."

The news will be a welcome boost for David Moyes after Phil Neville underwent knee surgery on Friday, ruling him out for up to two months.

"It's important give or take Phil's news," added Stubbs. "It was important to get Darron back and give the manager another selection dilemma. It makes it more important now that Phil has had the operation but it's just good to get Darron back playing again."

Stubbs also revealed teenage left-back Luke Garbutt will be out for up to 12 weeks after having an operation of his own on a troublesome ankle.

The youngster injured himself during last weekend's Under-21 game against Blackburn and saw a specialist earlier this week.

"Luke's had an operation on his ankle so it looks like he's going to be out for 10 to 12 weeks," said Stubbs. "It's been a really disappointing season for him from an injury point of view.

"He's had a hamstring injury and now this, so he's had a real bad run of luck. We're all disappointed for him but he's only a young lad and he's still got a bright career ahead of him."

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