Report: Everton's Leighton Baines training three times a week to return to action early

Baines has not made an appearance this season following an ankle injury.

Everton defender Leighton Baines has been training three times a week according to the Liverpool Echo, as he continues to recover from an ankle injury that has kept him sidelined during this season. 

Baines has been one of Everton's key players for a number of years but his presence hasn't been missed so much this season thanks to the accomplished performances of youngster Brendan Galloway

It hasn't stopped the 30-year-old trying to work hard in order to return from his injury earlier than expected, with the report suggesting he was expecting to be sidelined for up to 14 weeks after he suffered a fresh ankle injury in pre-season. It is thought he won't return to the side until November.

But with the form of Galloway, it is good news for Everton that Baines will have a fight on his hands to get back into the team, as it illustrates the growing squad depth that has developed at Goodison Park under Roberto Martinez. 

There have been several seasons that have gone by where Evertonians would be losing sleep at the prospect of being injured but so far his presence hasn't been missed. 

However, his return will certainly be a help to both the team and Galloway. Expectation is growing around the 19-year-old, and as a result they will need to managed to a degree. There have been cases when relying on a player who has only just broken through week in, week out can be harmful - though it must be said he has shown no signs of it affecting him after impressing in his first Merseyside derby appearance at the weekend. 

It must be comforting for Roberto Martinez that his more established defender doesn't have as much pressure as perhaps he first thought, but the competition between the two should mean they can raise each other's game. 

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