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Baines has surgery on problem ankle

14/05/2015  Comments (22)  jump
Return to fitness anticipated for pre-season training

No more football for Everton's No. 3 this season as he recovers from surgery on a long-standing ankle problem

Leighton Baines will miss the last two games of the season after going under the knife to correct a long-standing ankle problem that forced him off during last Saturday's defeat by Sunderland.

His manager, Roberto Martinez, told the media at his press conference ahead of Saturday's trip to West Ham that the England international had a "straight-forward" operation to the correct the problem and that the club expects him back during pre-season in July.

Martinez explained that Baines has been struggling with the problem for the best part of three years but it flared up again recently in the win over Manchester United so he was delighted to have found what he called the "perfect solution".

"The advice from the specialist is to make sure his ankle is treated properly going forward," Martinez said. "In the second half against Sunderland the pain was intolerable. He has had the problem since 2012.

"We are looking forward to getting him back fully fit and strong for next season. He will be back stronger than ever. He didn't want to miss playing — he always puts himself forward when he's not pain-free.

With Bryan Oviedo also ruled out until pre-season, Baines's absence could give Luke Garbutt another opportunity to impress in the first team and, many fans hope, give him another glimpse at the advantages of staying at Everton this summer by renewing his contract.

If the two parties cannot agree on a deal, Garbutt would be free to sign with another club at the end of the season , with the 21 year-old believed to be looking for regular first-team football. We have put a lot of effort into Luke's development over the last two years and we want him to stay at the Club," Martinez reiterated when asked about of Garbutt's situation. But he wasn't ready to confirm that the left back would be Baines's automatic replacement on Saturday. It's too early to tell at the moment, he said. We need to assess and see how we can prepare for the best possible outcome on Saturday.

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo

Reader Comments (22)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 14/05/2015 at 10:24:05
Apparently Leighton has had an operation on his ankle and it was a success. According to Greg OÂ’Keefe, Leighton has had this problem for at least 18 months if not 3 years and the journalist suggested that Leighton had been playing through the pain barrier often having his leg strapped up following matches and needing injections to keep him available for selection.

ItÂ’s no wonder Garbutt doesnÂ’t see his future at Goodison if he canÂ’t keep a less than 100% fit Baines out of the team. LetÂ’s hope Leighton makes a complete recovery and is back to full fitness for the start of the next campaign, he will be like a new signing.

Jim Harrison
2 Posted 14/05/2015 at 15:13:19
Evidently a half fit Baines seemed a better option to the manager, who knows if he was right or not.

Still, always look on the bright side, with nothing bar pride and a couple of million in placing bonuses we can afford to give Baines time to get himself right. Fit and on form he is one of the most productive players at the club

Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 14/05/2015 at 15:43:39
The Echo adds these comments from Greg OÂ’Keefe:

"Behind the scenes Baines had been coping and playing with this issue for more than 18 months.

"He is tough as old boots and because it has been an matter of persistent pain rather than being unable to run full stop, so heÂ’s soldiered on, putting his body on the line and the team before himself.

"Blues will know Leighton hasnÂ’t been quite at his usual levels of excellence this season, and perhaps the issue was coming to a head. He wouldnÂ’t complain publicly about it but the manager has given us an insight into the type of discomfort he was having especially during the Sunderland game.

"IÂ’ve seen him walk gingerly around the tunnel after games with his ankle heavily strapped and hear suggestions heÂ’s had to have pain killing jabs to play.

"But now it seems itÂ’s come to a head and at least he will be out at a point when the games wonÂ’t make much difference to our fortunes. Hopefully the problem will be fixed and Baines can come back and resume his normal superb standards in time for pre-season."

I just donÂ’t understand this approach. Surely pain is a sign of there being a problem. If it doesnÂ’t improve by itself, but in fact gets worse, doesnÂ’t it make more sense to act earlier rather than later? Before more and more damage is done?

No, letÂ’s have him "play through the pain", even though his game (previously top-notch) has gone to shit in the process... and no doubt been a major factor in an utterly crap season overall.

Not to mention Garbutt. Makes the whole sad and sorry business a complete nonsense.

Peter Bell
4 Posted 14/05/2015 at 15:59:36
So lets get this right: I have paid for 3 season tickets over the last 18 months to watch a player the club knows is not fit and yet they let him go the World Cup?

This is either bullshit or this club has become a joke.

NSNO my arse.

Geoff Evans
5 Posted 14/05/2015 at 16:10:11
18 months and still they havenÂ’t tied Garbutt down to a contract.
Frank Wade
6 Posted 14/05/2015 at 16:32:39
Agree Michael and Peter,

This is an example of gross mismanagement and sadly not new. In OssieÂ’s autobiography, he often referred to matches where he was not fit to play and had pain-killing injections to get through them. This, I would suggest, is one of the reasons why Ossie has been so inconsistent over the years. One day fantastic, the next, looking as if he cannot run at all and why opinion on hims has been so divided on here.

If we look at this from a business perspective. We have an asset in Baines, for whom, less than two years back, an offer of 㾸M was considered derisory, as he was playing so well. The management depreciate this asset considerably by using pain-killing injections, to such an extent that I would not expect any 㾸M bids anytime soon, as he has been less than stellar this season. If this was a business, such misuse of an asset would be considered a sackable offence.

From a health and safety perspective, playing with pain-killing injections is wrong. Should taking such substances before a game be banned by the Anti Doping Agency?

Can a player who knows he has a sore and injured ankle be relied upon to put his foot out to block a cross or to put his foot into a hard tackle, as would rightly be expected by fans such as Peter, who shell out money for season tickets??? I would think not.

The fact that we have a reliable deputy in Garbutt makes the whole situation worse.

Geoff, I think Garbutt has been offered contracts but is waiting for assurances on playing time, so the club canÂ’t be blamed on that. However, if I were Luke and watching our esteemed manager preferring to give a player pain-killers to play in my place and not that well at that, I would wait to see all offers before signing a new contract.

Jay Harris
7 Posted 14/05/2015 at 16:56:35

I agree with your sentiments but since the year dot footballers have played with injuries. This is common practice among all the clubs.

Jimmy Gabriel's sister told me he hated Harry Catterick because he was notorious for telling them to get out and play even with injuries.

As regards pain-killing injections, they are hardly performance enhancing but I get your point.

For me, it is refreshing to see someone like Leighton dedicated to his job as opposed to some of the overpaid prima donnas who cry off with a scratch.

Frank Wade
8 Posted 14/05/2015 at 17:07:10
Jay, I would prefer a player rest an injury and get back 100% as soon as possible rather than play at 80% and have his form suffer, not to mention the risk of permanent damage. I know that players are under pressure and I agree itÂ’s good to have players wanting to play for the club. If itÂ’s just a niggle ( 85% ) which disappears when warmed up, then ok. If itÂ’s a situation, as in this case, where he was playing in Â’intolerableÂ’ pain, itÂ’s different, sounds like 60% at best.

I have heard stories in the past where managers wouldnÂ’t even talk to players who had injuries as they considered them non-contributing malingerers. It depends on the seriousness of the injury as to whether a player is to be admired for commitment or chastised for stupidity I suppose. Surgery sounds serious to me.

Richard Lyons
9 Posted 14/05/2015 at 17:32:12
DonÂ’t know about you, but IÂ’ve had the impression that LB has seemed less than motivated during the last few games, particularly later on in the games - maybe it was the pain, or maybe it was my imagination...
Ian Jones
10 Posted 14/05/2015 at 18:03:21
Could this be the reason he hasnÂ’t taken penalties of late. In case he hurts his ankle. I like the fact we have two brave players. One playing through pain. Another playing through sunny conditions and sticky grass.

I also like the way Martinez wonÂ’t commit himself to playing Garbutt at this moment, which is fine. We have a few others in that area. We could consider Phil Jagielka in goal as well and that way we could play with a rush-back goalie.

Eddie Dunn
11 Posted 14/05/2015 at 21:06:42
I said a few weeks ago that he was playing with a grimace, and wasnÂ’t happy. This must have been why, and explains why, at times, he has stopped on halfway and checked inside, instead of overlapping in the way we have become accustomed to seeing. Ian notes that this could be one reason for him not taking the pens.

Unfortunately our dear manager refuses to be clear about the possible inclusion of Garbutt this Saturday. Why all the secrecy? it isnÂ’t the bloody Cup Final.

One wonders why this injury as been allowed to go on so long, with Garbutt and Oviedo on the books. it is worth bearing in mind next time we have a go at certain players, in that they could be carrying a long-term problem. Barry was crocked a while back and was below par for weeks, and Lukaku had his toe problem early in the season.

Perhaps Alcaraz has had injections in his brain before games!

Trevor Lynes
12 Posted 14/05/2015 at 22:42:11
Playing with pain killers has always been part of pro football and sometimes in semi pro too. I hardly know an ex-player who has not played when in pain or carrying a nagging injury.

Blaming the manager is not on and it seems that the hate brigade are only too quick to have a go at him for everything that appears in print.

Mike Hargreaves
13 Posted 15/05/2015 at 12:14:10
Well lets say management have got it right this time, at least he will be fit for pre-season rather than having the operation at a later date. It should also give young Garbutt a chance in the last 2 games.
Ray Roche
14 Posted 15/05/2015 at 12:35:01
Yes, Mike, itÂ’s a great opportunity for Garbutt to put himself in the shop window for a lucrative move to another club!
Phil Walling
15 Posted 15/05/2015 at 13:45:33
LetÂ’s face it, if either or both Baines and Oviedo makes a full recovery there is no future here for Garbutt, his youth notwithstanding.

If he has the chance of a decent move, he should take the plunge. No blame attaches to Martinez.

William Cartwright
16 Posted 15/05/2015 at 13:59:14
Putting the potential negative medical long term consequences to one side, this is another example of the out of touch with reality muddled thinking of Martinez. 1st. Why play an unfit player and undermine both him and the ? 2nd. Why hold back the opportunity of Garbut who has looked really good and Oviedo as well, and then announce to everyone the complete arse about face logic and make everyone look stupid? 3rd. There is something seriously wrong with how Roberto sees the world and I believe there is a fancy long winded medical term for it. I just canÂ’t believe the blinding stupidity of the man. Get rid now!
William Cartwright
17 Posted 15/05/2015 at 13:59:14
Putting the potential negative medical long-term consequences to one side, this is another example of the out-of-touch-with-reality muddled thinking of Martinez.

Firstly, why play an unfit player and undermine both him and the next in line?

Secondly, why hold back the opportunity of Garbut who has looked really good and Oviedo as well, and then announce to everyone the complete arse-about-face logic and make everyone look stupid?

Thirdly There is something seriously wrong with how Roberto sees the world and I believe there is a fancy long-winded medical term for it. I just canÂ’t believe the blinding stupidity of the man. Get rid now!

Jim Hardin
18 Posted 15/05/2015 at 20:03:07
Says a lot for the skill and determination of Baines and the evaluation of GarbuttÂ’s abilities that, even when playing through pain, Baines was still better than a healthy Garbutt at his position.
Jamie Crowley
19 Posted 15/05/2015 at 21:07:12
Baines having an injury.

Oviedo seemingly canÂ’t get healthy - understandable however it is.

YouÂ’d think theyÂ’d be chomping at the bit to sign Garbutt?!

Future scenario: Garbutt leaves, Baines ginger on the ankle, Oviedo isnÂ’t up to snuff heÂ’s been out so long or he gets injured again (he seems a risk at this point).

WeÂ’ll be crying out for a left back and we will have let one of the best, most promising young left backs go elsewhere.

Not good.

Ross Edwards
20 Posted 15/05/2015 at 21:19:00
Very stupid from Martinez, considering that he has a degree in physiotherapy, to continue to pick a player who has been only half fit for the last 18 months.
Trevor Powell
21 Posted 16/05/2015 at 15:03:02
Clearly, Baines is the number one pick at left back. Garbutt is one for the very near future and could leave à la Gosling very soon!

Pienaar, the left sided midfielder is well over the hill and injury prone. A potential solution: move Baines into a midfield role and get Garbutt playing regularly at left back.

Baines has the record assists for a Premier League full back, can score more goals than Pienaar, understands what protection Garbutt needs on the left!

Baines can tackle, can go past people and didn't OFM or RM want to convert him into a Philip Lamm!

I might be talking out of my arse here, but I seem to remember that Gareth Bale started life as a left back! What happened to him?

This could be a great inspiring challenge for Baines!

John Wilson
22 Posted 27/06/2015 at 17:10:35
Leighton is finished-an ankle injury thatÂ’s over three years old never gets better, and RM knows this. Luke Garbutt is here to
stay unless Oviedo replaces him.

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