Baines' injury 'a real disaster' for Martinez

LONDON • Everton left-back Leighton Baines could be sidelined for a significant period after suffering a freak training-ground injury to his surgically-repaired ankle, manager Roberto Martinez said.

The England international missed Everton's 2-2 draw with Watford in their English Premier League opener on Saturday after picking up the injury.

"We don't know how long he will be out for but it has been a real disaster," Martinez told the BBC.

Baines, 30, had surgery on the ankle in May. He missed the tail end of the Premier League season and England's European Championship qualifier against Slovenia.

"Everything had been perfect in Leighton's programme and he worked extremely hard in pre-season," Martinez told Everton's website. "He looked refreshed, he looked strong and he looked at a really, really good level.

"Then, in training, he blocks a ball and it hits him exactly in the same area where he had surgery, with the unfortunate result that he's going to be out for a while."

Martinez also has concerns over the fitness of Kevin Mirallas.

He left the field in the 77th minute after a heavy tackle from Watford's Valon Behrami.

"He wanted to stay on the pitch, clearly. But he had a really nasty tackle and we're going to be assessing him in the next 48 hours," added Martinez.

He sounded happier talking about Arouna Kone's late equaliser for his side.

The manager believes the goal could be a turning point for the forward who has struggled to regain form after a serious knee injury suffered in 2013.

"He was never able to get the momentum or luck and nobody got to see the best of Arouna.

"He came up with a quality finish - that's one of his strengths, running into the box and finding that corner," said Martinez.

"I feel it can be a turning point and I hope everyone at Everton can see what he can bring to the team."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2015, with the headline 'Baines' injury 'a real disaster' for Martinez'. Print Edition | Subscribe