Everton manager Roberto Martinez has explained in the Liverpool Echo why Steven Pienaar didn’t feature in last weekend’s 1-0 win against Burnley.
Martinez suggested that while the South African is over a knee injury, he is still struggling with his fitness.
“It was more muscular fatigue from the work he did at Swansea but it is going to be short-term,” said the boss.
“We need to get him fit but it is not a big, big issue. His knee was a big problem and all of the problems that come from the mechanics of the knee.”
Pienaar suffering a slight setback can hardly be surprising because he was kept out of action for an extended period of time earlier this season.
He won’t be at the same level of physical fitness as some of his teammates because he’s been forced to play catch up as he looks to have an impact with the team before the end of the season.
Martinez is in a position where he doesn’t have to take any risks in relation to the player because he’s not under any pressure.
Everton are on 41 points, which should be more than enough to keep them in the Premier League and they are chasing a six point gap to finish in the top eight by the end of the campaign.
The focus for the manager and the player should be to take it easy, return if possible to feature over the final few games, but focus on getting fit through pre-season for the 2015/2016 campaign.