One of the Blues' most effective players in years gone by, particularly in partnership with Leighton Baines down the left flank, the South African has made just 22 Premier League starts since the beginning of 2013-14 thanks to a succession of niggling injuries.
His last appearance came as a first-half substitute for Leon Osman in the 1-1 draw with Swansea last April but he suffered a relapse and did not feature for Everton in any capacity until pre-season where he suffered a fresh hamstring problem.
The Liverpool Echo report that the 33-year-old considered retirement in the spring but his determination to have one last go at putting together a run in the Blues' first team has kept him in the gym and has culminated thus far in a run-out for the Under-21s in their match against Schalke 04 last night.
That he only played the first half while Tom Cleverley took the next step in his own recovery with a 60-minute appearance is illustrative of the patient approach the club's medical staff are taking with Pienaar's recovery programme.
"We are being extra cautious with his recovery and giving him extra time to give him a good period of adaptation," Martinez said last night. “We will have to give him enough time to get back to match fitness.
“But, as we know, Stevie is a unique footballer within our squad and we need to get him fit because the margin we can improve, with him in the squad, is huge.
“So we are really looking forward to him having a good exercise tonight and we will build it up slowly.
"[H]e is a very, very fit boy naturally but he has been very unfortunate with injuries and that effects the bio-mechanics of your body at times and that desire to be back on the pitch can bring you set-backs.
“So, sometimes you need to be patient, trust the medical people around you but also be lucky with what is ahead of you.”
Reader Comments (24)
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1 Posted 21/10/2015 at 19:01:30
2 Posted 21/10/2015 at 19:01:33
3 Posted 21/10/2015 at 19:07:30
4 Posted 21/10/2015 at 20:02:54
Starting matches isn't really an option anymore. It's nearly November already. If he can get a level of fitness and not pick up any more injuries, he can be a decent option coming off the bench from Xmas/New Year onwards, maybe. But it's a long shot.
I hope something like that comes off for him, he deserves to go out playing. An excellent, underrated footballer.
5 Posted 21/10/2015 at 20:38:22
Against Stoke in Singapore he was at the end of some real vicious challenges, got no protection at all and was finally knobbled too much and we haven't seen him since. It will happen again.
6 Posted 21/10/2015 at 20:58:11
Martinez needs to be ruthless going forward, nothing dream and hope that they will be fit.
Even if any of these 3 are back injury free I just can not see them being good enough to take Everton upwards from here.
7 Posted 21/10/2015 at 21:26:44
Not many fans have given credit to not only Pienaar but Distin too who always covered for Baines sorties forward. Cover at top level has been a goal for our coaches to develop and all that has been produced are defenders. Surely since Pienaar's injury his replacement should have been a priority as obviously his loss has had a detrimental affect on Baines and the side as a whole. If we still possessed the threat provided when Pienaar and Baines were playing together I am absolutely certain that Lukaku would have scored more goals.
I want to see Baines take over the Barry role and get back to his creative best. We only need one defensive midfielder otherwise it detracts from our goal threat especially in the coming home games against lesser sides than we have met so far.
8 Posted 21/10/2015 at 23:32:00
All things considered with Pienaar's overall situation, his returning to full competitive fitness would itself appear to be questionable. Even if such a return were the case, to claim that it would be a "huge" improvement to the squad seems at the very least to be optimistic. At a stretch it may give a manager minimal options in very limited circumstances. To claim that a return would make a "huge" difference makes one wonder as to the manager's professional judgement and grip on reality.
9 Posted 22/10/2015 at 00:51:54
A brilliant signing, twice, but he should go take it easy in the States.
10 Posted 22/10/2015 at 01:06:14
Time for us to move on, we don't have the budget to carry passengers or be sentimental about high earners.
12 Posted 22/10/2015 at 08:15:57
It has been a long time since he contributed to the team but he does possess some special talent, and it would be a bonus if he got back to match fitness.
We really do have more of our fair share of guys that hardly ever stay fit for more than a few weeks.
13 Posted 22/10/2015 at 09:22:39
14 Posted 22/10/2015 at 11:12:59
It's such a shame he'll never be quite there again. Such a great little underrated player & his link-up play with Baines was virtually telepathic! In the snippets where he did play in the last 2 years, a couple of times really showed what we were missing.
I really hoped he'd come back through this season before the hammy crocked him again. I hope to see him get a run out before Xmas.
15 Posted 22/10/2015 at 11:44:56
we have greatly missed him and Bainsey down the left. I wonder if it's too late for him as well but wait and see. I don't want to see him just fade away after what he's done for us.
It might be that the medical and coaching staff see him capable of playing a full 90 mins; if so, what a fantastic bonus for us. If he can come on as sub for the last half hour or so of a match, that would be a useful addition to our squad.
Whatever happens, I think he has been excellent (and maybe still will be) for us.
16 Posted 22/10/2015 at 12:10:06
Let him play for an hour or so then bring Deulofeu on, or Mirallas to finish the match. It would be preferable to play two wingers, especially at home, but Bobby doesn't do that.
18 Posted 22/10/2015 at 12:31:30
Here is a player who actually moves and wants the ball instead of the fucking statues we have at the moment.
Sick and tired (as must be the fans around me) of screaming "Fucking move you gang of lazy twats!!!"
Bloody hell! that was a lot of swearing for one post.
19 Posted 22/10/2015 at 13:09:54
I agree. Although not a flying winger, the most effective wide player since Trevor Steven.
But the player we are missing most is Leighton. Galloway has been great and has a real future but Leighton has been our most effective attacking player for the last five years. We need him back.
20 Posted 22/10/2015 at 15:39:16
We need seriously to look at replacing Tim Howard; his best days are well and truly behind him. These players will hold us back if we keep them next season... They've got to go... please!
21 Posted 22/10/2015 at 17:26:39
22 Posted 22/10/2015 at 19:13:03
McGeady, Hibbert, Pienaar, Osman and Gibson will surely be off soon. If we are serious about progressing, they should be followed by Howard, Naismith and Mirallas.
Howard is not going to get any better, Naismith is a real trier, but not quite good enough, and Kevin will never be consistent.
I look at the lads playing for West Ham, Palace and Leicester, running at pace, actually shooting at goal, moving off the ball! We need to wake-up and switch on, this league is all about pace and movement, and we look like a bunch of OAPs playing over-50s' walking football.
23 Posted 23/10/2015 at 00:09:20
Barkley is a "unique talent" with "unique bravery on the ball" and "from a physical point of view, he's someone quite unique".
Deulofeu is another "unique talent".
Mirallas is a "unique goal scoring threat".
Lukaku is a player with "unique potential".
Stones also possesses "unique potential".
McGeady, if he can overcome his hamstring problems, "is quite unique".
So many gifted individuals blessed with extraordinary abilities. Martinez must feel like fucking Professor X, minus the slaphead and spinal problems, when he walks into that dressing room.
NB: If anyone is interested Amazon currently has a fantastic 'Sportagraphs Roberto Martinez Signed A4 FRAMED Photo Mount Autograph Display & COA'
Apparently makes a 'PERFECT UNIQUE GIFT' and comes with 'a Certificate of Authenticity that carries a unique identification hologram'.
25 Posted 23/10/2015 at 09:16:41
And we assume he's talking about football &mdash with his fondness for going off at tangents, the unique talents he says they all have could be at scrabble or cave diving!
26 Posted 23/10/2015 at 10:01:00
You mentioned Pienaar, Hibbert and Gibson, I'd add Osman, Oviedo and McGeady to that list too. All them players' wages would allow us to either bring in a couple or really good frees or loan players per season.
28 Posted 23/10/2015 at 21:26:36
I loved Pienaar but I'd actually forgotten about him. We were on our way to work in the car a few days back and Martinez was waxing lyrical about Pienaar when the 2 reds in the car said, "Fuckin' hell! Is he still alive?" Sums us up really.
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