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Martinez Won't Rush Gerard

But boss says hamstring injury isn't as bad as first feared.

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez says Gerard Deulofeu's hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared - but the teenage winger is set to spend up to five weeks on the sidelines.

If accurate, that prognosis could see Deulofeu return in time for the Merseyside derby at Anfield on 28 January, though Martinez cautioned the importance of not rushing the talented Spaniard back to action.

Speaking exclusively to evertontv, the Toffees boss said: "We've had the scans and it was confirmed that Gerard has suffered a soft tissue injury in his right hamstring.

"Obviously we now need to make sure he recovers well. We don't think he's going to be out for too long, probably the best part of five weeks. But, knowing Gerard, he's a sprinter and we need to make sure he's fully fit.

"Gerard is happy. Obviously he was disappointed, but we were probably a little bit fearful that it could have been a bit more than [it is], so we're pleased that it's an injury that we know exactly what it is and that it's not going to bring any more problems in the future.

"But we need to treat it right because those sorts of injuries cannot be underestimated."

Martinez also revealed that Everton's medical department would be liaising with that of Deulofeu's loan club, Barcelona, to ensure the best possible rehabilitation.

The 19-year-old will travel to Spain later this week and Martinez said: "We're working with the two medical departments - of our Club and of Barcelona.

"They're working together because, as you can imagine, there are many things to take into consideration and it's important they have a look as well. From there, we're going to use the best possible route to treat the player.

"Gerard has got a good feeling about him and all he wants is to get back as quick as he can. I think this is going to refresh him and it's going to make him a real impact player when he comes back, so we're excited about that."

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