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Everton's Rodwell ready for first-team return

Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell hopes to return to first-team action after enjoying an unexpectedly quick recovery from an ankle injury.

It was initially feared that Rodwell, 19, would miss around three months of the season when he suffered ligament damage against Aston Villa on August 29, but he was named on the bench for the weekend's game against Stoke.

Having played for Everton's reserves against Blackpool on Wednesday to take the latest step in his recovery, Rodwell is targeting a return to first-team action under David Moyes.

"Credit has to go to the medical team. I'm a few weeks ahead of schedule," Rodwell told the club's official website. "I was meant to be out until Christmas time so I've done really well to get back by now. Now it's just a case of getting my confidence up and getting a bit of time on the pitch like I did against Blackpool.

"I'll get my head down, do some extra work in the gym and hopefully I'll get my chance again. The sharpness will come. It was my first game back in nine or ten weeks so I'm pleased with how it has gone.

"I'm three weeks ahead of schedule so I can't complain, but there are little bits that I need to work on."

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