Leighton Baines missed the end of last season after undergoing ankle surgery (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
The 30-year-old defender suffered a relapse of the injury that required corrective surgery towards the end of last season, handing Roberto Martinez a major injury setback on the eve of a new season for the second year running.
A year ago, Ross Barkley was ruled out of the first eight weeks of the 2014-15 season with medial knee ligament damage sustained in training two days before the season opener at Leicester.
Now, the Catalan will be forced to do without one of his most important players as Baines requires more time to recover after re-injuring the ankle that has dogged him on and off for the last two or three years.
"With Leighton, it was a very, very unfortunate block in training, where the ball hit his ankle that he had a little bit of trouble with in the later stages of last season," Martinez told evertonfc.com, although he has not provided a timeline for Baines's return.
"We're just hoping we can get him back quicker than we fear because the injury looks very similar to what he had before.”
Martinez has Bryan Oviedo as a ready-made replacement for his first-choice left back but he will be mindful of the Costa Rican’s own injury problems over the past two seasons. Oviedo suffered a horrific leg break 18 months ago and then saw his attempted comeback aborted by a hamstring injury in March and a metatarsal fracture in April.
Both he and Baines returned to pre-season action earlier than anticipated this summer, featuring in the Blues’ pre-season games in Scotland, boosting the manager’s options at left back following the decision to let Luke Garbutt spend the season on loan at Fulham. Ironically, Garbutt will also miss the first 6 weeks of the campaign with an ankle issue of his own.
Everton have Brendan Galloway as further back-up to Oviedo but with Tony Hibbert facing an undetermined amount of time on the treatment table himself, the loss of Baines amplifies concerns over depth in both fullback positions at Goodison Park.
Reader Comments (55)
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1 Posted 07/08/2015 at 19:53:31
Bit of good news with two players signing new contracts then this, at least we've got young Brendan to cover, but we desperately need cover at the back.
2 Posted 07/08/2015 at 19:54:48
3 Posted 07/08/2015 at 19:57:05
4 Posted 07/08/2015 at 20:03:23
5 Posted 07/08/2015 at 20:06:51
7 Posted 07/08/2015 at 20:17:20
8 Posted 07/08/2015 at 20:19:58
The current 'style' we've been playing doesn't rely on the FBs bombing forward as much as they used to so hopefully Oviedo will be fine. A run of games will get him to the level he was at before his leg brake, fingers crossed.
Putting things into perspective - we're playing Watford at home tomorrow. Baines or no Baines, if we can't get past them then we're fooked anyway.
How's that for a POSITIVE statement!
10 Posted 07/08/2015 at 21:07:09
11 Posted 07/08/2015 at 21:13:15
That leaves either a hardly match fit Oviedo or a rookie kid in Galloway, might get away with it against poor opposition tomorrow but after that our defence will get torn a new one.
It really is depressing being an Evertonian these day's.
12 Posted 07/08/2015 at 21:26:05
So as much as I'd be disappointed if Baines is out I'd be comfortable with Oviedo coming in and doing more than a decdnt job!
14 Posted 07/08/2015 at 21:31:34
15 Posted 07/08/2015 at 21:43:00
16 Posted 07/08/2015 at 21:44:16
Let's just hope it's not true.
17 Posted 07/08/2015 at 22:07:06
18 Posted 07/08/2015 at 22:15:25
19 Posted 07/08/2015 at 22:19:01
20 Posted 07/08/2015 at 22:20:27
Is this confirmed on the official site?
Major bad news if true
22 Posted 07/08/2015 at 23:53:46
What is the source of the rumour?
23 Posted 07/08/2015 at 23:59:00
24 Posted 08/08/2015 at 04:52:54
25 Posted 08/08/2015 at 06:14:47
26 Posted 08/08/2015 at 07:50:10
27 Posted 08/08/2015 at 08:12:46
Couldn't understand Garbutt going to the championship on loan. He's 22 and has PL experience already. Alan Ball had a world cup winners medal at just 21.
28 Posted 08/08/2015 at 08:21:42
29 Posted 08/08/2015 at 08:26:39
30 Posted 08/08/2015 at 08:28:24
Maybe you guys are happy that we are the lowest spenders, have no preparation in place to compensate for injuries and are quite frankly doing nothing so far to rectify last season's slump.
Call me negative but after witnessing so much shite over the year's I'd say I'm being a realist lads.
32 Posted 08/08/2015 at 09:01:52
Let's see where we get to by the end of the window. Martinez' first window was the best I can recall in modern Everton history but the real juice did n't flow till the last day. I don't see my position as either especially positive or negative, but I'm arguing that it would qualify as realistic.
33 Posted 08/08/2015 at 09:20:11
You have an opinion, fine, but we all know what it is so you don't need to tell us over and over again. If you think there's something important to say then write something properly, a fan article or something. It's the people who pop up on every thread just to whinge about the same things in the same ways all the time that make ToffeeWeb hard to enjoy.
34 Posted 08/08/2015 at 09:57:42
36 Posted 08/08/2015 at 10:28:13
Regarding your post at no 16.
Is it a line from the new James Bond movie ?
37 Posted 08/08/2015 at 10:34:16
38 Posted 08/08/2015 at 12:05:06
Perhaps we need another season with Walter Smith to adjust expectations. Idan Tal was our most skillful player.
39 Posted 08/08/2015 at 12:21:39
40 Posted 08/08/2015 at 12:24:35
42 Posted 08/08/2015 at 12:31:43
They say you should never meet your idols, but I've met a few T'Webbers in person and it's never been disappointing - at some point it dawns on you that we do have 1 thing in common!
43 Posted 08/08/2015 at 12:36:09
44 Posted 08/08/2015 at 12:47:49
45 Posted 08/08/2015 at 13:03:41
46 Posted 08/08/2015 at 13:18:52
47 Posted 08/08/2015 at 13:27:01
48 Posted 08/08/2015 at 14:21:23
49 Posted 08/08/2015 at 14:32:30
50 Posted 08/08/2015 at 15:04:48
51 Posted 08/08/2015 at 17:45:46
52 Posted 08/08/2015 at 18:03:27
How can you fuck up a serious ankle operation.
53 Posted 08/08/2015 at 18:30:33
Galloway did quite well but going forward I don't think he's really going to offer what a proper fullback would do.
Oviedo doesn't look anywhere near fit to be honest, very game when he came on but looked sluggish.
We really need to go hell for leather in the remaining weeks of the transfer window.
54 Posted 08/08/2015 at 19:22:43
The fact that Baines is injured again does not point to an operation that has been" fucked up".
There are other possibilities,yes?
55 Posted 08/08/2015 at 19:31:31
To be fair,Jim would be up there with the best,but he is certainly not the worst.
56 Posted 08/08/2015 at 20:15:49
Anyone got anything better to offer?
57 Posted 09/08/2015 at 01:21:56
58 Posted 09/08/2015 at 03:03:44
59 Posted 09/08/2015 at 12:52:44
60 Posted 09/08/2015 at 14:26:26
61 Posted 09/08/2015 at 15:29:28
To be damaged when hit by the ball it would have to be made of plasticine!
63 Posted 10/08/2015 at 13:41:03
...who's also injured, to a lesser degree.
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