Everton manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed some good news for Everton fans with Ross Barkley’s return from injury ahead of schedule.
Barkley has been out of action since a medial ligament problem in pre-season, but the boss says his hard working is paying off as he’s due to return two weeks ahead of his original return date.
“Ross is progressing well but is still receiving treatment. He's in week four now and is probably a couple of weeks ahead of where he should be,” said Martinez.
“But he's still halfway through his recovery period.”
Barkley is one of the most exciting and creative English prospects in the Premier League, with Everton realising his talent and tying him down to a long term contract to prevent any big money bids from reportedly interested parties.
His absence has so far been coped with, as Martinez has had a good blend of experience, aggression and creativity in the middle of his team.
The permanent signing of Gareth Barry from Manchester City has allowed the boss to use someone to protect his defence, which has freed the likes of James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas to press forward and provide the flair.
The important thing for Everton and Martinez is not to rush Barkley back when he gets nearer to a realistic return date.
He’s capable of some truly inspirational goals such as his effort at Newcastle United last season but the excitement from that ability to change games has to be toned right down until he’s fully fit.
There have been numerous examples before where sides have rushed players back because of their importance or their talent and they have ended up out of the game for longer as a result.
The fact Martinez suggests he’s two weeks ahead of schedule is encouraging for the fact that it shows Barkley is working extremely hard but it’s important the club continues to measure his eagerness against the risks involved.
Fortunately for the Toffees, Martinez doesn’t seem like that sort of boss.