Arguably the best player on the pitch on Tuesday at West Ham, Kevin Mirallas has admitted that he is playing through pain after suffering an ankle injury.
The Belgian wingman told the Everton website that he suffered the injury in the loss against Stoke City on December 26th. Mirallas came on late in the next game against Newcastle, and though he scored to make things interesting, he says he hasn't felt right:
"After the Stoke City game [on Boxing Day], I was in a lot of pain and couldn't start against Newcastle. I did 30 minutes in that game but I still felt bad. And after the first game against West Ham, I did not feel fit."
Blues manager Roberto Martinez said that his recent use of Mirallas was due to the knock:
"He got injured earlier in the season and we missed him - he came back and had a knock not long ago, but wanted to be available. That's not normal for a creative player to have that nature of a fighter who wants to be out there."
The boss also talked about Mirallas' game-changing performance in the FA Cup replay against West Ham:
"He could not play 90 minutes so I wanted to make sure he was on the pitch finishing the game, bearing in mind that it could have been extra-time. In the manner that it worked out, he was ready and he made a big, big contribution."
Mirallas says that it won't be long until he is back to full fitness:
"I have seen a specialist from Belgium about it. He came two days before the last game, and you can see I felt better after that. He worked his magic. I think in 10 days I will feel 100 per cent. But for now, it is 90 per cent. The main thing is that I am able to play."
With only one match (West Brom at home) in that 10-day period, expect to see Mirallas back in the starting lineup by the end of the month.