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Roberto Martinez expecting Everton stars to return in coming weeks

The likes of Leighton Baines, Tom Cleverley and Steven Pienaar should all be back sooner rather than later.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is expecting a number of his stars to return to the first team fold in the coming weeks.

The manager has been boosted by the return of John Stones and Seamus Coleman for the game against Manchester United this weekend, but still has several stars out injured.

Among those missing from the first team are Leighton Baines and Tom Cleverley, who are recovering from ankle and leg injuries respectively, but Martinez says they have returned to training and are in the final stage of their recovery.

Aside from them, the manager is also expecting to have Steven Pienaar, Tony Hibbert and Muhamed Besic all to return around the same period as well.

"We are taking it step by step, but to see Tom and Leighton joining the group, that [means] they are at the final stage of any recovery from injury.

"I expect them to be available, with Steven Pienaar, over the next two or three weeks. Before the next international break, I am very much looking forward to having all these players back and all these players feeling like footballers again."

"Tony Hibbert is doing really well as well and I expect a very quick recovery and Mo Besic is very similar to Tony.

"So I expect over the next two or three weeks to get probably most of the players back and that's something that we've been looking forward to having because the different possibilities with the different players in this squad is very exciting."

Of those players, it is arguable that the return of Baines and Cleverley are the ones that Martinez will be most excited by.

However, both will find it a tough ask to find their way back into the side, with the full back in particular facing a fight to earn back his usually assured spot in the starting eleven.

During his injury absence, youngster Brendan Galloway has more than impressed at left back, and there is even an argument that he should remain in the side once Baines returns.

What those players returning does show however, is that Everton very much have a strong squad at their disposal this season.