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Things falling into place for Martinez ahead of Man United visit

The Everton treatment room is slowly beginning to empty...

Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

The international break is always a nervy time for club managers, with their star players travelling to all parts of the globe to play matches of varying importance and often picking up injuries of varying severity.

Manchester City are one such team to be cursing their luck over the weekend, with star duo Sergio Aguero and David Silva both reporting back for club duty with serious injuries.

Everton, however, seemed to have got of lightly - perhaps explaining Roberto Martinez's rather chipper demeanour during Thursday's news conference.

The Spaniard confirmed that all of his international players had returned to Finch Farm unscathed, indeed some came back fitter than they were when they left.

Seamus Coleman hasn't played for Everton since the win over Chelsea at the start of last month but made his comeback from a hamstring injury for Ireland against Poland last weekend and is now in contention for Saturday's meeting with Man United.

Tim Howard, Bryan Oviedo and Ramiro Funes Mori will be carefully monitored after travelling across the Atlantic and back. The trio are expected to train as normal on Thursday.

Martinez said:

"Anyone who has been on international duty has come back ready to go,"

"In today’s [Thursday] session we will find out about the boys who are coming back on a transatlantic flight - Tim Howard, Bryan Oviedo and Ramiro Funes Mori - but all the reports have been really healthy and positive.

"There was the added bonus that Seamus Coleman went away not ready to be on a football pitch but came back with 90 minutes under his belt, which is a fantastic position to be in."

Back in the treatment room and Everton's early season injury curse appears to be easing. John Stones, Steven Pienaar and Tom Cleverley have all returned to training and it is just a mater of building up match fitness before they can return.

Stones is the most likely player to come back into the team first and could even replace Funes Mori in the starting XI at Goodison on Saturday.

Leighton Baines is also progressing well from his ankle injury and could return to training in a fortnight while Muhamed Besic and Tony Hibbert (remember him?) could follow soon after.

Martinez added:

"We have had very good news on all of the injured players. John Stones, Steven Pienaar and Tom Cleverley have joined the group and they have been working really well, although they are at different stages.

"Mo Besic and Tony Hibbert are progressing really well and I expect everyone to be fully fit over the next three to four weeks.

"From a medical point of view, John is fit, yes. But from a football point of view we need to make a decision over the next 48 hours.

"Leighton Baines has been given the all clear to step up the final stages of his recovery. He’s not far off at all.

"When you get to know Leighton you learn not to set a target because he will always get ahead of the expected time but we have had a very good two weeks work with Leighton and he is ready to join the group. I would say [another] two weeks would be the right period of time he needs to come back strong and stay fit for the remainder of the season."

That would leave Everton with a clean bill of health heading into a hectic part of the season. Things change week on week of course and news of two cruciate knee ligament injuries in 48 hours for Liverpool shows how quickly things can turn against you.

But Everton can justifiably point to a number of injuries the club has suffered already this season, including to three of their first choice back four.

The fact the club remains in a healthy league position despite those absentees is testament to the squad Martinez has built as well as a few talented academy graduates.

They have provided some timely competition for places and gives me confidence the club would be able to withstand all but the worse of injury crises over the coming months.