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Welbeck injury highlights striker crisis

Arsenal
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 By Mike Whalley

Stones available despite head injury

John Stones suffered a head injury at Newcastle.
John Stones suffered a head injury at Newcastle.

Everton defender John Stones insists he will be fine to play a part against Fulham in the Premier League this weekend after suffering a head injury against Newcastle.

O'Farrell: Everton dare to dream after Newcastle win

The 19-year-old needed 10 stitches after a clash of heads with striker Papiss Cisse during the first half of Tuesday night’s 3-0 win at St James’ Park.

Stones was able to complete the game, sporting a bandage, after being treated by his club’s medical staff.

But having played his part in a win that moved Everton up to fifth in the Premier League, Stones said that his injury caused him no serious harm.

He told Everton’s official website: “The head’s fine. I can’t really remember much of it. I looked down and there was some blood dripping down so I went off, got sorted and came back on.

“I think there’s about eight to 10 stitches. It was a cut but I wanted to get back on the pitch. They [the medical team] train a lot to do these type of things and so a big thanks to them because they were brilliant.

“They kept me calm and did a really good job. I was back out on the pitch really quickly.”

Stones has been filling in alongside Sylvain Distin at centre-back while captain Phil Jagielka recovers from the hamstring injury that has kept him out of action for the least month.

Jagielka will be fit to return against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday, and manager Roberto Martinez is expected to restore him to the starting line-up at the expense of Stones, who is nonetheless set to retain a place in the squad for that match.

The highlight of Tuesday’s win at Newcastle was a memorable individual goal by England midfielder Ross Barkley, who ran 70 yards before firing past keeper Tim Krul to open the scoring.

Stones said: “I cleared it and then Ross just set off. I was thinking he is going all the way here. I was saying ‘shoot now’ as he went across the box but what a goal.

“That’s a daily thing for Ross -- he will do things out of the ordinary.”

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