Everton have been bitten by the injury bug this season - particularly in terms of extended absences - but they are slowly getting back to full health. At his press conference today, Sam Allardyce offered good news on missing left back Leighton Baines:
Allardyce confirms Leighton Baines will be “clear from the injuries he’s had” by Watford game. Stekelenberg near to full training.— BBC Merseyside Sport (@bbcmerseysport) February 8, 2018
Allardyce even went so far as to deny the Blues’ interest in Patrice Evra, stating that Baines’ impending return meant they no longer needed the left back they were allegedly searching so desperately for in the month of January.
Allardyce says he was not interested in Patrice Evra. "We had Leighton Baines coming back so no."— gideonbrooks (@GideonBrooks) February 8, 2018
Baines, 33, has only made 13 Premier League appearances for Everton this season after suffering an undisclosed calf injury on November 26 against Southampton. He was subbed off after 27’, and has not been seen since. The Englishman is back on the grass, though, and has been sorely missed.
Cuco Martina has deputized surprisingly well in defense, but with Luke Garbutt remaining ostracized, Baines is still the only recognized left back in the senior team.
It remains to be seen what the Everton #3’s long term future looks like, but in the interim his return - hopefully against Watford on February 24 - will do wonders to stabilize a back line that was in utter shambles against Arsenal.