Everton manager Roberto Martinez has provided an injury update on four of the Toffees' key players at his press conference today, with mixed news on offer.
Martinez was speaking before Everton's match against Newcastle United on Sunday and confirmed that John Stones would be available for selection.
RM: "We didn't pick up any knocks or bruises last night. John Stones should be available after a stomach bug." #EFCvNEW— Everton (@Everton) March 13, 2015
Stones was ruled out of Everton's Europa League match with Dynamo Kiev last night with a stomach bug, but Martinez is expecting to have the England international available again at the weekend.
That was where the good news stopped, though, with the Spanish boss confirming that Aiden McGeady, Bryan Oviedo and Steven Pienaar were all set to miss out.
There had been hopes earlier in the week that McGeady would have been fit for the match against Newcastle, but the Republic of Ireland international is set to remain sidelined with injury.
He will be joined there by Gareth Barry, who begins a two-match suspension on Sunday, and Everton will be hoping that missing so many first-team players is not detrimental to their chances of success.
The Toffees need to start collecting points quickly and they will view their match against Newcastle as a good opportunity to start climbing away from the bottom three.
At the moment the Merseyside outfit are six points clear of the drop-zone, but their poor form means they are not feeling safe and a few wins will be required between now and the end of the season if they are to retain their Premier League status.
There is a danger that Everton could go into their game with Newcastle slightly fatigued due to their European commitments last night, but Martinez feels that their match against Kiev could work in their favour.
The Toffees put in an excellent performance to beat Kiev 2-1 and Martinez wants them to carry their form over into their game against the Magpies.
If Everton do win the fixture, they will take a major step towards safety and the gap between them and Newcastle will be closed to four points.