Boss: Jags Will Fight To Be Fit
Roberto Martinez refusing to rule skipper out of cup clash.
Roberto Martinez says he will give captain Phil Jagielka every chance to prove his fitness ahead of Everton's FA Cup quarter-final at Arsenal.
The Blues skipper is a major doubt for Saturday's clash at Emirates Stadium, having missed last weekend's victory over West Ham United with a hamstring injury.
Martinez admits the initial prognosis would make the visit of Cardiff City on 15 March a more likely target for Jagielka - but says he would never rule out the defender from making a quicker-than-expected recovery.
Jagielka made a speedy comeback from a similar muscle problem in January and Martinez told evertontv: "With Phil, you can never rule him out. From a medical point of view, he should be missing the game against Arsenal - I was probably looking more at the Cardiff game.
"But knowing him and how he's reacted to this similar injury that he's had in the past, he could heal a lot quicker.
"I'm not going to rule him out and we're going to give him as much time as he needs to make a final decision."
Jagielka's injury has prevented him from joining up with the England squad due to play Denmark on Wednesday and Martinez added: "In a way it's good that he's behind-the-scenes here at Finch Farm and he hasn't got the game with the national team.
"That could give him a small percentage [chance] to be fit for the weekend. We'll see how this week unfolds and make a final decision closer to the game."
The Spaniard also confirmed he has no fresh injury concerns following the win over West Ham.
He said: "There are no new knocks. Everyone else is fit and we're hopeful everyone will come back from their international games fit and ready to go."
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