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

Martinez Hopeful Over Trio

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is hopeful Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and Seamus Coleman will all be fit enough to feature against Leicester City on Saturday - though admits it's still too early to tell.

Lukaku and Mirallas both sat out Sunday's final pre-season friendly at SC Paderborn having only returned to training following their post-World Cup break last week.

Coleman, meanwhile, has missed the last three matches after limping off against Tranmere Rovers with a hamstring problem.

Martinez confirmed all three players will train normally in the build-up to the season's curtain-raiser this weekend and says he will give them every chance to prove their fitness.

"All three are going to train normally with the team today, so we need to assess how they are and how they go through the week before any decisions are made on Saturday," he said. "It's really good to see Rom and Kevin reaching a really good level of fitness so quickly, but we don't know yet if they're going to be ready for the weekend.

"Seamus is training with the team and had the 'all okay' from a scan yesterday, so that's very good news as well."

Another player Martinez is closer to welcoming back is striker Arouna Kone.

The Ivorian hasn't featured since suffering a serious knee injury in October last year but is expected to make his long-awaited return to action before the end of September.

"Arouna is training well and is still in his own programme but he has been working with the team as well," added the Toffees chief.

"We're very positive about Arouna being able to play some sort of competitive football in the next four to five weeks."

 

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