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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Pienaar Likely To Miss Hull

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Steven Pienaar is in line for a return against Aston Villa after Roberto Martinez admitted Saturday's contest against Hull could come too soon for the South African.

The midfielder sustained a soft tissue injury in training last month and has missed the past five games.

And although Pienaar has returned to full training in advance of this weekend's game against the Tigers, Martinez has earmarked the trip to Villa Park on 26 October as a more likely comeback.

"Steven has been working with the group very well," the Blues boss explained.

"I think this weekend could be too early but I do expect him to be fully fit for next Saturday."

Meanwhile, the Spaniard also provided an update on the fitness of Antolin Alcaraz, with the summer signing yet to feature since a pre-season outing at Accrington.

Martinez also confirmed that, Darron Gibson's ligament injury aside, a knock to Apostolos Vellios was the only addition to his injury list from the latest round of internationals.

"Antolin is looking very strong. He had a setback three weeks ago but now is back and fully recovered. I do feel he will be ready in the next three weeks - probably in the next international break, but we're very pleased with his recovery.

"Vellios picked up a knock with Greece Under-21s, but everyone else came through unscathed."

Don’t miss out - seats are still available for Saturday’s 3pm kick-off against Hull. Tickets start from £32 for adults and only £16 for Under-16s.

Buying tickets is easy. Simply visit the Park End or Goodison Road box office or you can also pick up tickets in the city centre from either Everton Two or the Ticket Quarter in Queen Square. Alternatively, call  0871 663 1878 or buy online here .

Hospitality places are also still available - click here to book online.

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