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

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Roberto Martinez hopes to have Darron Gibson back before the end of this season.

Martinez confirmed at his press conference on Thursday morning that the midfielder has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Gibson will have surgery on the injured knee but Martinez said that because there was no other damage to the joint he was hopeful the player would be able to return before the end of the season.

“It was a real disappointment,” said Martinez. “I was watching the game and it was a real innocuous challenge.

“With the scans yesterday, the ACL is ruptured, but the knee reacted well and nothing else is damaged. The whole structure of the knee is perfectly fine. We look forward to seeing Darron back, hopefully this season.

“Darron is a sensational talent that is approaching the best moment of his career and, yes, it is a setback.

“We have got a cruciate ligament injury to solve but the knee is fine. I know that Darron will come back stronger as a footballer after this incident.”

Martinez also expressed his disappointment that Gibson’s injury will prevent him from continuing his promising midfield partnership with James McCarthy – both at club and international level.

The Spaniard added: “At the ground [the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening] there was a sense of excitement because Darron Gibson and James McCarthy were linking up in the game so well.

“You could see a snap-shot of the future of Irish football and, internally, a great and important partnership for Everton, so it is a setback.”

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