Stones In Contention

John Stones is in line to return against Manchester United this weekend.

The defender missed the games against West Brom and Liverpool as well as England’s games during the international break.

But he could be back to face the team against whom he scored his maiden Everton goal last term.

Martinez said: “I think he should be ready. Remember that John has been having a lot of quality work at Finch Farm and it will be a matter of just getting that match fitness. 

“We have still got very three important days ahead of that fixture in terms of preparation so we’ll get a better idea on Friday of where John is. 

“I would say medically he is ready now. He’s been joining the group and from a medical point of view I don’t think there is a concern or worry.”

Seamus Coleman is also set to return after featuring for Ireland on Sunday, while longer-term absentees Leighton Baines (ankle), Tom Cleverley (leg) and Steven Pienaar (hamstring) are pencilled in to return over the next couple of weeks after stepping up their recoveries.

Martinez explained: "We are taking it step by step, but to see Tom and Leighton joining the group, that [means] they are at the final stage of any recovery from injury.

"I expect them to be available, with Steven Pienaar, over the next two or three weeks. Before the next international break, I am very much looking forward to having all these players back and all these players feeling like footballers again.

“Tony Hibbert is doing really well as well and I expect a very quick recovery and Mo Besic is very similar to Tony.

“So I expect over the next two or three weeks to get probably most of the players back and that’s something that we’ve been looking forward to having because the different possibilities with the different players in this squad is very exciting.”


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