Gerard Deulofeu to miss five weeks
Everton’s on-loan Spanish forward Gerard Deulofeu will be out for "the best part of five weeks" with a torn hamstring, manager Roberto Martinez says.
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Deulofeu was carried off on a stretcher during Saturday’s 4-1 Premier League home win over Fulham.
And Martinez indicated initially that he thought the 19-year-old, on a season’s loan from Barcelona, would be out for longer by telling him to prepare for the final third of the campaign.
But the results of scans suggest that Deulofeu, who has scored twice in his last four appearances, will be back in time for the Premier League trip to West Brom on Jan. 20.
Martinez told Everton’s website: "We had the scans and it was confirmed that he had a soft tissue injury in his right hamstring. Now we need to make sure that he recovers well.
"In a way, you don’t want players to have any period injured, but Gerard’s absence will allow us to refresh him and maybe get him strong for the final third of the season.
"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 is fully fit. You don’t want to have a problem with these sort of injuries for the future.
"I’m excited about the fact that we’ve just seen his best moments as a player at Everton in recent games. He’s got a good feeling about him. All he wants is to get back as quickly as he can.
"I think that’s going to refresh him and make him a real, real impact player when he comes back. We’re excited about that."
Martinez also indicated that he hopes to have left-back Leighton Baines back in action for the Boxing Day home game against Sunderland.
The England international, 29, has not played since suffering a fractured toe during the 3-3 draw against Liverpool on Nov. 23.
Martinez did not entirely rule out the possibility of Baines playing some part at Swansea this coming Sunday, but suggested that a return over Christmas was more realistic.
He said: "What we’re hoping is that he’s going to be fit for the Christmas period. I think that will be an incredible boost to the squad, and it will be great to see Leighton running around again.
"I always felt Leighton would recover quicker than anyone expected and he’s been doing really, really well.
"But obviously, it’s a bit too early to see if he’s available for Sunday. We’ll find out over the next few days.
"What is great to see is that Leighton is feeling better every day, that he’s desperate to come back, and the squad is desperate to see him fully fit."