Sunday, August 11, 2013

Everton boss Martinez plays down Fellaini injury fears

The Belgium international missed the Toffees' final preseason game against Real Betis due to an infection but will be fit for their Premier League opener against Norwich City.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed Marouane Fellaini missed the 2-1 friendly win over Real Betis due to an infected cut, but he should be fit for the start of the season.

The Belgian midfielder had started five of Everton’s six preseason games this summer but was left out of the squad for its final friendly fixture before the Premier League campaign kicks off, which the Goodison Park outfit won 2-1 after goals from Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas.

Martinez has insisted that Fellaini would have played were it not for an infection, and he should feature against Norwich on Aug. 17, providing he returns from international duty unscathed.

"Marouane would have been available if it was a competitive game," Martinez told the club’s official website. "He picked up a cut on the U.S. tour. Bearing in mind he has to join the Belgium squad now, and in two days the infection will clear. I didn't want to risk hurting him."

The former Wigan boss also provided an update on Darron Gibson, who was forced off just before halftime with a knee problem.

"Darron is the only negative,” Martinez added. "We have been quite fortunate throughout preseason not to pick up knocks and bruises, but in the warm-up he opened his knee slightly, so he's got a grade one ligament problem.

"We'll have a clearer idea of it in the next 48 hours."