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Tom Cleverley Injury Update: Midfielder Could Return Against Manchester United

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The English midfielder is set to return ahead of schedule, with a match-up against his former club hopefully in the cards.

Tom Cleverley is carried off the pitch after sustaining an ankle injury.
Tom Cleverley is carried off the pitch after sustaining an ankle injury.
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

When Tom Cleverley was injured by Eric Dier's tackle against Tottenham at the end of August, things looked pretty bleak. The 26-year-old midfielder had to be stretchered off in obvious pain, and there was serious concern that the injury might be long-term.

Ultimately, the club stated that Cleverley was expected to be out about two months with damage to his ankle ligaments, but the club's most recent report states that he should be back ahead of schedule. Roberto Martinez told EvertonFC.com:

Tom avoided surgery and tomorrow he will be running on the grass and he wants to play against Manchester United. That is a realistic target and is three weeks earlier than we thought.

Cleverley started Everton's first four Premier League games at wing, and is yet to appear at a more natural central position for the club. It is unclear what role he will play when he returns.

His injury paved the way for Steven Naismith's resurgence against Chelsea, and with Aaron Lennon's signing, Cleverley may have slid even further down the depth chart at wing.

He is probably more likely to appear as a depth player in the center of midfield, particularly with Darron Gibson still yet to appear this season.

Either way, the Toffees are lucky to have the Englishman back ahead of schedule.