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Martinez predicts end of Kone's injury nightmare

by | 11/08/2014  Comments (62)  jump
Ivorian is no 'forgotten man' at Everton

Roberto Martinez says that Arouna Kone can play a big part in Everton's season, particularly in Europe when the Blues return to Continental competition after a five-year absence.

The striker has been sidelined since last October with a knee injury that he sustained just six appearances into his Everton career, an issue that required surgery in November and months of patient rehabilitation at Finch Farm and at a facility in Belgium.

Now back in training, his manager says that the 30-year-old Ivorian is "right where he should be" and has rejected any assertion that Kone is Everton's "forgotten man".

[Arouna] is a figure that is very much in our plans and he is an understood figure because he has gone through such a horrible time," Martinez said in the Liverpool Echo.

It has been frustrating for everyone but he is training well now. He is right where he should be.

It was a very serious injury and it is just about assessing when he will be available to play but he will be important this season."

Martinez initially signed Kone when he was manager at Wigan Athletic two years ago, drafting him from Sevilla for around 3.5M. Having also played for PSV Eindhoven, Roda JC and had spells on loan at Hanover and Levante, the Anyama-born player has plenty of experience playing in Europe, something that the manager believes could be a big advantage this season.

There are going to be so many games where his experience — playing for many important teams over his career — is going to be very beneficial for us," Martinez continued. "He is not forgotten at all.

He will [surprise the Everton fans] because he hasn't been able to show what he is as a footballer. He is a strong target-man who can hold the ball up well and link up play.

His appreciation of the players around him is quite impressive for a target-man because you don't normally see that type of appreciation.

Then as a finisher, he scores goals and those are the qualities that I don't think anyone has seen yet.

He is working really, really hard to be himself and show what he can do to help the team.

Update In subsequent comments, Martinez has put a timescale on Kone's long-awaited return to action.

Arouna is training well and is still in his own programme, but he has been working with the team as well," he said. We're very positive about Arouna being able to play some sort of competitive football in the next four to five weeks.  

Reader Comments (62)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 11/08/2014 at 23:09:03
Be nice to get him back. Looking at his history, if he stayed healthy, heÂ’d provide double-digit goals. Even in his first season in the Prem for a bottom-feeder. So, he knows where the net is. DidnÂ’t see where Roberto gave a projected return date though.

Want to be wrong, but think we will list Kone on the "If only" side of the ledger.

Too bad.

Harold Matthews
2 Posted 11/08/2014 at 23:00:52
Terrific news. The lad is not a sick-note. It was a terrible kick to the knee which put him out and I look forward to his return.
Kev Johnson
3 Posted 11/08/2014 at 23:18:57
I love Roberto, but I just wish heÂ’d cut to the chase sometimes. When the hell is Kone going to play? I donÂ’t want to know that heÂ’s "where he should be" and that "it is just about assessing when he will be available to play". I certainly donÂ’t want to know that heÂ’s "working really hard to be himself" FFS! I want to know when he will be fit enough to take to the pitch in a competitive game. IÂ’m not interested in all that advertising fluff about what Kone is capable of - I want to see for myself if he can cut the mustard. ThatÂ’s all that matters. The rest is poppycock.

Derek Knox
4 Posted 11/08/2014 at 23:30:51
ThatÂ’s excellent news, I hardly noticed that he was missing.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 11/08/2014 at 23:34:57
HeÂ’ll be like a new signing.
Spragg Johnson
6 Posted 11/08/2014 at 23:40:13
Give it 48 hours ... something will go wrong!
Jamie Sweet
7 Posted 11/08/2014 at 23:52:18
In general, we seem to be far too hasty to write players off... and I just have an inkling that Kone will bang in a few important goals for us this season.

HeÂ’s certainly far more capable than his first handful of appearances suggested (when he was no where near 100% fit).

John Daley
8 Posted 12/08/2014 at 00:03:05
"The rest is poppycock"

Poppycock. Probably an injury one of Gibson, Alcaraz or Kone will pick up this season.

Ant Dwyer
9 Posted 12/08/2014 at 00:20:25
If Kone can be fit enough to have a run at it from September in the Europa league it could really benifit him as it did Bony for Swansea last season. If he could play in four or five Europa games plus one or two Carling Cup games before the big Christmas period he could then be up to speed and provide us with some great options to back up and even replace Rom.

As I said with Bony, he wasnÂ’t exactly flying at the start of his Premier League campaign but once heÂ’d hit a couple in the Europa and showed his fans what he could do his confidence grew massively and he grew into one of the top strikers in the Premier League. Onwards and upward for Kone, I hope.

Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 12/08/2014 at 06:14:15
I still remember him leaving Heitinga for dead. That player is still there, and I can’t wait to see him do it for us instead of against us.
Peter Jones
13 Posted 12/08/2014 at 07:14:44
If he does get fit, what’s the betting he’s off to the African Nations cup? I hope we are at least covered by insurance for he has been the biggest waste of money since Danny Williamson.
James Hughes
14 Posted 12/08/2014 at 07:42:29
I would have to agree with James Flynn (#1) — All I remember of the few outings he made is a player who was slow and uninterested and never mind leaving players for dead, he looked like the walking dead!!!

I really hope I am proved wrong and he is amazing.

just a side note to John Daley: ’poppycock’ is Dutch for ’soft shit’ (pappykak) — Stephen Fry said it, so it must be true.

Mark Tanton
15 Posted 12/08/2014 at 07:59:53
Is he one of the new six or seven, or three or four, or the last new signing of the summer?!
Jim Bennings
16 Posted 12/08/2014 at 08:03:12
The fact remains that when we signed Arouna Kone last summer, we signed a striker that had just scored 13 goals at a club that was relegated...and that was in his first season in English football.

If you look at that then you think there’s a player there somewhere that just needs a run of games, any player be it striker, midfielder or goalkeeper needs a run of games to gain sharpness and confidence, so far Kone had been limited to sub cameo appearances and then had the rotten luck with that season ending injury.

If we can get him fully fit and get him some games then he’s going to be a more than useful squad player especially when the games come thick and fast.

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 12/08/2014 at 08:05:57
This just confirms what a sensible manager we have in charge of our team. He has been injured for nearly a year; cost ٤ million (even though your release clause was only ٣ million); people say youÂ’re shite and a total waste of money; so what shall we do?

We will tell them youÂ’re nearly ready and let you concentrate on getting fully fit after such a bad injury. Take your time, lad, and build up both your fitness and your confidence together.

Am I the only person who remembers Saha playing an FA Cup Semi-Final as though it was a pre-season friendly? If youÂ’re not fully fit in modern football, then itÂ’s no good being on the pitch.

Matthew Burgess
18 Posted 12/08/2014 at 08:27:12
Reading between the lines a bit, and the reluctance to commit to when heÂ’ll return, I wonder if theyÂ’re even talking him to get him a loan move perhaps to help him get his sharpness back?
Peter Murray
19 Posted 12/08/2014 at 08:30:11
In Kone we have a good player struggling to get out.

IÂ’d never realised until after a bit of research just what a complicated and debilitating condition "muscle fatigue" is. LetÂ’s hope he recovers the previous seasonÂ’s form and fitness he showed to our cost in the FA Cup.

Paul Kernot
20 Posted 12/08/2014 at 08:43:22
We were saying that about Jelavic for two seasons Jim. I do think Kone will eventually prove of some value to us though.
James Richard
21 Posted 12/08/2014 at 09:20:49
From what I remember of him at Wigan heÂ’s a top striker. I remember him terrorising our defence. HeÂ’s got pace, heÂ’s strong and knows where the net is. Given a chance I think he will surprise a lot of blues. The only thing is his age is against him.
Paul Thompson
22 Posted 12/08/2014 at 09:33:15
Mike Gaynes@11 - my Granny could leave Heitinga for dead, and she’s dead herself. Seriously, I thought Kone was a decent buy at the time, particularly when playing a counter-attacking game. He was pretty poor at the start of last season before the injury, but let’s hope he can play a useful part this one. We certainly need more options up top.
Mike Keating
23 Posted 12/08/2014 at 09:31:45
I agree - too early to write him off. He was a real handful against us the season they went down.
Tony J Williams
25 Posted 12/08/2014 at 10:33:19
I believed he was part of the deal to take Martinez, you had to buy Kone too.

To be fair though, we did only have Jelavic, Anichebe and Naismith so you could see we needed another striker.

Phil Walling
26 Posted 12/08/2014 at 10:50:00
That’s a lot of ’ifs’ in your piece, Jim. Of course IF he can get fit and IF he can score 13 goals he will be of value. But you can say that about any player on any club’s books.

We all want him to come good but do a bit of searching and you will find this guy’s background is a bit ’IFy’.

Sean Kelly
27 Posted 12/08/2014 at 11:56:20
Hope the daisies are cut – I wouldn’t like to see him trip and be out for another season.

Every time Kone or Gibson fall over this season, there will be a collective sigh of "Oh, Jesus – not again!!!"

Roger Helm
28 Posted 12/08/2014 at 11:58:15
It makes you wonder what the injury was - not a cruciate anyway. To be out for so long it must have been serious and at his age, it can’t do anything to improve him. We’ll just have to hope for the best but I can’t see him playing a major part.
Dick Brady
29 Posted 12/08/2014 at 12:10:46
James Stewart
30 Posted 12/08/2014 at 12:34:03
I can’t see him featuring anytime soon. If he was anywhere near match fitness, he would have been involved in pre-season.
Harold Matthews
31 Posted 12/08/2014 at 12:19:47
Roger. He got a full-blooded kick on the knee. Made me wince. Who knows what damage it did. When Kone suffered a relapse toward the end of last season Martinez said it must be bad because the lad has always played through the pain barrier.
Derek Knox
32 Posted 12/08/2014 at 12:45:45
Phil# 26

I note your post with response to Jim’s, about it containing so many ’if’s.

A cursory perusal of your own would seem to confirm an equivalent use of ’but’s.

Touche, Philip!

Richard Lyons
33 Posted 12/08/2014 at 13:38:06
Surely the sub-text to all this is: don’t get your hopes up about getting a new striker...?
Sean Patton
35 Posted 12/08/2014 at 13:56:14

I remember the challenge and while it was a fairly forceful kick to the knee there is no way he should be out for almost a year with it.

The only explanation is that his knee was already goosed in the first place which begs the question how did he pass a medical.

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 12/08/2014 at 14:20:28
Sean, his knee being goosed before he signed for us isn’t the only possible explanation. It could be any or more of several explanations: the blow might have been so severe; the initial treatment not up to scratch; Kone hiding from the club how bad it was and trying to come back to soon; our medical / phsio staff not providing the right post-operative programme; Osman.
Kev Johnson
38 Posted 12/08/2014 at 14:38:57
"We’re very positive about Arouna being able to play some sort of competitive football in the next four to five weeks." RM on the OS.

So, expect him back on the bench in about three months... ish.

Steve Pugh
39 Posted 12/08/2014 at 14:52:28
You can never judge the seriousness of an injury by looking at it. A lady that used to work with my Dad as a lab technician tripped on an empty cardboard box and banged her shin on the way down. Didn’t look like much, but she couldn’t walk without a stick ever again and had to quit her job because she couldn’t stand for that long.

So while the armchair doctors might not think that it was a serious injury, the proper doctors might know a little bit more.

Paul Ellam
41 Posted 12/08/2014 at 15:17:21
I am not too excited about what Kone can bring to us but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt seeing as though he had that bad injury.
Maybe it’s the fact he has Kone A. on his shirt that puts me off!
Hope he starts scoring ASAP anyway - we may need those goals.
Denis Richardson
43 Posted 12/08/2014 at 15:31:20
Really need him to stay fit to provide back up and competition for Lukaku. As he won’t be starting every game, hopefully RM can ease him back. Read somewhere that he should be back sometime in September, along with Oviedo.

We only have 3 games before the international break in September, hopefully Lukaku can get through those before Kone has to be called upon.

Brian Hill
44 Posted 12/08/2014 at 15:50:14
Kev, your talents seem unlimited.

From potential Everton superstar to aspiring Cardboard Box Inspector/Supervisor - how are you with a lawnmower?

Julian Wait
45 Posted 12/08/2014 at 15:43:57
He destroyed us in the cup in 2013. HeÂ’ll do a job if heÂ’s fit, and I think for now we have to work with that. If he breaks down again, we have to try Long (plus others?) from the kids and look to get someone experienced in January if we need to.
Derek Knox
47 Posted 12/08/2014 at 16:03:38
Kev# 42

I totally agree with your suggestion of the appointment of Health and Safety Officer with an executive salary to match, but doubt very much whether the position could be undertaken by you alone.

I am therefore volunteering to be your assistant, but not on a voluntary basis, my salary would be commensurate with your own, give or take a couple of grand, with complimentary season tickets, as part of the bonus package.

I have every faith in the knowledge, that between us, we could drastically reduce the treatment room queue and make it a safer place for all the players and staff alike.

Andrew Hawes
48 Posted 12/08/2014 at 16:28:11
Now the Atsu loan transfer is more or less confirmed we need one more signing! Maybe I am being greedy but the only position we really need covered now is maybe the most important. A striker... even on loan, someone who can come on to replace Lukaku and terrorise defences.

Even with a fit Lukaku and Kone we are still far too lightweight up front. Someone in the mould of James Vaughan when he was fit? Remember when he was on the touchline with 20 minutes to go waiting to come on? The whole stadium and team lifted because we all new what we were about to get, a live wire who would create at least a couple of chances in those last few moments! Man Utd had it with Hernandez, Spurs with Defoe...

In my opinion if we could just find a similar type then our squad could match any this season.

Chris Green
49 Posted 12/08/2014 at 16:42:16
Sean #35 ThatÂ’s the most ridiculous assessment of an injury I have ever heard. It didnÂ’t look like much so he must have been injured to begin with. I donÂ’t think when Jags fell over he could have hurt himself badly, he fell over. How was he out 9 mths?!?

Having suffered a lot of knee injuries, including one acl recon from just kneeling, thatÂ’s stupid. Have any other buys been seriously laid up from MartinezÂ’s buys? It was bad luck and I for one want him back, playing well and showing us what we paid the money for.

And all this negativity about BobÂ’s press conferences. And updates. He hasnÂ’t lied once and I prefer his optimistic appraisals to the bland negative stuff we had before.

Harold Matthews
52 Posted 12/08/2014 at 18:28:54
Cheers Derek. Sky report good Coleman news.
Linda Morrison
54 Posted 12/08/2014 at 19:12:13
What is wrong with you lot?

If Kone can give us at least 10 goals season he will be worth it.

We will be fine!

Phil Walling
55 Posted 12/08/2014 at 19:17:10
If ANY bugger can give us 10 goals this season we'll be delighted !

IF Everton...................

Tony Draper
56 Posted 12/08/2014 at 23:01:53
I hope that Kone is finally able to make a full recovery, because I do not see how on earth it benefits us for him not to.

Why do so many feel the need to make entries which imply or suggest that somehow Kone is responsible for this injury?
Why do so many feel the need to imply or suggest that RM has hoodwinked us with signing Kone?

Please, explain to me just how this "Snake Oil" chicanery could possibly further either of their careers, please do because clearly I'm missing out on some secret "Da Vinci Code" dark underworld of professional football.

Either that or, maybe, just maybe Kone's injury was considerably worse and with subsequent complications than were first apparent?

But maybe that's not dramatic enough to suit the hand flapping "Drama club"?

As is frequently said here by owners of cooler heads, "let's just wait and see shall we?"

Mark Nunnen
58 Posted 13/08/2014 at 04:31:29
I was glad when he arrived. I rated him at Wigan. LetÂ’s give him a chance before we write him off.
Ernie Baywood
59 Posted 13/08/2014 at 07:35:12
As awful as he was, and he was absolutely awful, I still had high hopes for him once he caught a lucky break. The he got the unluckiest break - knee injury and gone.

If you can get past the injury and assume he comes back as the player he's been for the last few seasons then he's close to a sure thing. 10-15 goals a year and a real handful with his pace and power. Hopefully he can get back to that kind of form.

Kone but not forgotten (sorry).

Chris Morris
60 Posted 13/08/2014 at 08:09:02
When he signed I thought we'd wasted ٤m on an average at best type of player. In the 5 (I think) games he played in I wasn't proved wrong; in fact that Stevenage game when he managed to hit everything but the goal was embarrassing.

Having said that, he is another option and may well add a bit this season if he stays fit. So I for one wish him good luck and hope he does the business, least of all because he doesn't just wear any old number at Everton. He wears our 9 jersey

Phil Sammon
61 Posted 13/08/2014 at 08:26:28
Should be playing competitive football in 4 or 5 weeks according to Martinez latest estimations. I hope he proves a useful player and I know it's not his fault, but this injury is becoming absolutely ridiculous.
Drew Shortis
62 Posted 13/08/2014 at 09:08:40
From the little I saw of him in an Everton shirt Kone looked like a useful player. He took up good positions, linked up play well and had quite a few chances to score. Unfortunately his finishing was applauding. However, looking at his career stats he obviously does know how to finish so I'm ready to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he will take his next opportunity and show he wasn't a waste of money. I do think we need another striking option in addition though, just in case!
Mark Taylor
63 Posted 13/08/2014 at 09:29:09
If he does ever end up getting fit enough to play and if he is able to play to his previous level having been out for so long (two very big 'if's) then I hope Kone does the decent thing and declines to participate in the Africa Nations Cup. There are 4 matches in October/November, then the finals (if Ivory Coast get there) which would mean potentially missing the first few months of 2014.

I for one will be pretty ticked off we just end up getting him match fit for an international tournament. Given he will be 31 in a few months and that thus far, we have basically had nothing back for our investment, I think he owes us.

Andrew Hawes
64 Posted 13/08/2014 at 11:52:22
Mark (#63), is the African Cup of Nations not mandatory? If heÂ’s fit, the Ivory Coast have the right to insist he attends. Unless he insists heÂ’s injured, then he canÂ’t play or benefit anyone, which at this stage sounds the more likely scenario.
Harold Matthews
65 Posted 13/08/2014 at 12:06:47
He missed a couple of sitters but I thought he looked really good. His movement was tremendous.
Sean Patton
66 Posted 13/08/2014 at 13:46:11
"In the run up to the 08-09 season Kone suffered a serious knee injury whilst playing against Guinea a subsequent scan showed he had suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in his left knee."

I would say that proves my point about his knee already being damaged seeing as it was the same one that he got the knock in, eh Chris?

Si Cooper
67 Posted 13/08/2014 at 14:07:47
Mark (63) - would his work permit (or renewal of) be contingent on continued selection for international matches or not?
Brian Wilkinson
68 Posted 13/08/2014 at 14:23:05
When Kone is fit, I wonder if bookies will lay odds who gets injured first, Kone or Gibson?

Seems to be a pattern with our players: Parkinson, Bracewell, Snodin... why is it the shite players we have signed over the years never seem to pick up injuries? – not that I wish any player injured but it happens year-in, year-out.

Brent Stephens
69 Posted 13/08/2014 at 22:13:16
Sean #66 it says his knee was previously injured not that his current problems are a result of that.
Mark Taylor
70 Posted 14/08/2014 at 08:49:10
Andrew 64

I don't think any footballer can be forced to play for their country if they don't want to. If push comes to shove he can retire from international football. It's always possible to 'un retire'.

Tom R Owen
71 Posted 14/08/2014 at 09:09:48
The Times is suggesting he is available for transfer( 14/08/14)
Patrick Murphy
72 Posted 14/08/2014 at 09:19:50
Tom I wonder if this story about Kone means that Eto could be a target after all? I'm not sure that Eto would be the right choice looking at his World Cup performances although it wouldn't be hard to replace a man who we have seen so little of in over 12 months - although his wage demands might be eye-watering.
Hugh Jenkins
73 Posted 15/08/2014 at 08:09:38
It might be well to remember that RM is a qualified Physiotherapist. If his assessment of Kone is that he is now "over" his major injury and only now needs to get back to full match fitness, then it is probably a professional, as well as a considered opinion.
Kev Johnson
74 Posted 15/08/2014 at 11:28:25
This just in: Kone has reportedly asked Google to erase references to his time at Everton under the European Union's recent 'right to be forgotten' ruling. Link

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