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Gibson eyes comeback, Neville ruled out

Everton midfielder Darron Gibson has stepped up his comeback from a long-term thigh injury by playing his first competitive game for more than two months.

• Blog: Reality check at Reading

Gibson had a 63-minute run-out as an over-age player for the club's Under-21 side as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Reading on Sunday.

The 25-year-old had been out of action since injuring his thigh during the first 20 minutes of Everton's 2-0 Premier League defeat at West Brom on September 1.

His progress towards a comeback is good news for manager David Moyes, with captain Phil Neville set to miss the next two months after having a knee operation on Friday.

Everton Under-21 manager Alan Stubbs confirmed that Gibson had come through the match with no ill effects.

"I thought he did great," Stubbs told Everton's official website. "He's come through the game unscathed so that's a plus point and it's good for him that's he come through it and it's a step in the right direction for his recovery."

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