Everton defender John Stones is “touch-and-go” to be fit for Monday’s trip to West Brom, according to manager Roberto Martinez. The England center back sustained a knee injury in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup victory at Reading, but a late decision will be made on whether he is ready to play at the Hawthorns.
His withdrawal just after halftime at the Madejski was the first time this season he has not finished a match, including the 120 minutes at Barnsley in the previous round of the League Cup. His absence would be a blow for Martinez.
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“We have been pleased with John’s reaction to treatment in the last couple of days but I still think the next 48 hours are very important,” said the Everton boss.
“I wouldn’t say he is not going to be in the squad but it is too early to make a final decision.
“It will be touch-and-go for the West Brom game.”
Right back Seamus Coleman has missed the last two matches with a hamstring problem, but he has a chance for being back to face the Baggies.
“Seamus has already been working on the grass so he could well be involved in the game on Monday or maybe in the next game,” added Martinez.
“The squad should be the same as the one we had against Reading and Swansea with the possibility of having John and Seamus in the same squad.”
Martinez has also been boosted by news from some of his long-term injured.
Midfielder Tom Cleverley is ahead of schedule in his recovery from an ankle ligament injury and could be available to face former side Manchester United at Goodison Park on October 17 – when left back Leighton Baines may also return from an ankle problem.
“Tom avoided surgery and tomorrow (Saturday) he will be running on the grass and he wants to play against Manchester United,” Martinez told the Liverpool Echo.
“That is a realistic target and is three weeks earlier than we thought. Leighton is the same.”
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