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MOYES CALMS JAGIELKA INJURY FEARS

MOYES CALMS JAGIELKA INJURY FEARS

Everton manager David Moyes has eased fears defender Phil Jagielka could face a long spell on the sidelines.

The England centre-half was substituted with a thigh injury during Monday's impressive Barclays Premier League win at Manchester City.

The 28-year-old is still a major doubt for the Boxing Day clash against Birmingham at Goodison Park but Moyes does not expect his absence to be a lengthy one.

When asked how long he could be out, Moyes said at a press conference today: ``I'm not sure.

``We're hoping that he might not be too long but he is certainly a doubt for the game against Birmingham, as is Johnny Heitinga, so we could have a problem at centre-half if we don't get one of them fit.''

Heitinga has been out for the last two matches with a knee problem.

Midfielder Steven Pienaar is hoping to return after missing the Eastlands victory with a groin injury and playmaker Mikel Arteta returns after suspension.

Striker Victor Anichebe is banned after his sending off on Monday.

Provisional squad: Howard, Hibbert, Neville, Distin, Baines, Arteta, Cahill, Fellaini, Rodwell, Osman, Coleman, Bilyaletdinov, Pienaar, Saha, Yakubu, Beckford, Gueye, Baxter, Duffy, Jagielka, Heitinga, Mucha.

end

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