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Leighton Baines to see specialist ahead of West Ham trip

The defender picked up an injury in the defeat to Sunderland and is likely a doubt for the trip to West Ham this weekend.

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Leighton Baines will see a specialist to determine the full extent of his ankle injury suffered against Sunderland, according to the Echo.

The full back was replaced by Luke Garbutt during the second half of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat, and manager Roberto Martinez is hoping to learn sooner rather than later whether he will be available for the trip to West Ham this weekend.

"It was really, really painful in an area that has been a bit of a problem for Leighton," said Martinez.

"We'll get more clarity over the next 48 hours and clearly we'll address it once we get that information from the specialist. We want to find the solution so that Leighton can be pain free because it seems like it's a problem that's been developing over a couple of weeks now and we need to put it right."

If the injury were to prove a season ending one for Baines, he would join Darron Gibson, Bryan Oviedo and Tony Hibbert on the long-term injury list, while Steven Pienaar continue to struggle with a muscle problem.

An injury to Baines may not be wholly negative though, as it would at least allow youngster Garbutt to step into the fold, with him having impressed whenever called upon this season.

Hopefully finishing the season strongly in the absence of Baines would convince Everton to try even harder to secure the talented full-back to a new contract, with him still having failed to agree a new deal at the club.

One can only hope for such a positive outcome anyway.