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By ESPN Staff

Cahill promises to return 'better than ever'

Everton midfielder Tim Cahill has promised he will be fully fit for pre-season training after breaking his foot.

Cahill is now out for the rest of the campaign, but claimed: 'I'll be back better than ever.'

The loss of the Australia star has been a huge blow to boss David Moyes as Everton have seen themselves slip five points behind Liverpool in the race for fourth spot and Champions League qualification.

Cahill said: 'I started my rehab programme the day after I broke it again.

'One thing is that I am is experienced in this game, and I know exactly where I am with my foot injury.

'When it comes to pre-season, it will be like I haven't been out of football.'

Everton have taken just one point from the last nine, with Cahill figuring for only 15 minutes of those three games.

He started to suffer injury problems again in the 1-0 win at Sunderland on March 3, and was only named on the bench for Everton's UEFA Cup exit at the hands on Fiorentina in a penalty shootout.

He then missed the 1-0 defeat at Fulham and broke down again after 15 minutes of the home draw with West Ham.

And the day before the Merseyside derby defeat at the weekend, Moyes announced officially that Cahill's season was over.

The string of results when he has been out underlines just how important Cahill is to Everton. He also missed the first 13 games of the season with a similar injury, a run of games that saw Everton lose five times.

In the next 13, they were unbeaten and Cahill played in 12 and scored six.

Everton suffered another derby defeat on Monday when they lost 1-0 to Liverpool in the Barclays Premier Reserve League.