The South African has played just 45 minutes for the Under-21s this season after suffering numerous set-backs in his bid to regain full fitness but Roberto Martinez says that he expects him to be fit by this weekend even if it's unlikely he will feature in the Boxing Day trip to Newcastle.
Once a mainstay in the Everton side, Pienaar made just five senior starts last season and his creativity, workrate and partnership with Leighton Baines down the Blues' left flank have been sorely missed.
Martinez will likely ease him back into the team during what will be a busy period in the coming weeks and the manager expects the 33-year-old will be joined by the gradual return of other returnees in the form of Phil Jagielka, James McCarthy and Bryan Oviedo.
“Steven is training today and I expect him to be fit for the weekend,” Martinez told the press at his pre-match press conference.
“We’ve had a real boost with players coming back – Steven Pienaar, Phil Jagielka, Bryan Oviedo and James McCarthy – who will play some part in next seven games over three weeks. It’s great to have those back.
"They are already working with the group and will be involved as long as the match fitness comes along.”
Jagielka has been out of action with a knee ligament injury since October and has been pencilled in for a return in the early part of next month, while McCarthy has almost recovered from the hip injury he picked up at Bournemouth.
Bryan Oviedo, meanwhile, will be hoping he can maintain fitness to add to his five appearances so far this term. The Costa Rican has been struggling for weeks with hamstring issues.
Reader Comments (45)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:02:07
Realistically we need to be trimming the age and wage bill to let new crop develop.
2 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:07:58
3 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:14:11
4 Posted 24/12/2015 at 16:33:25
Either way, he's over the hill. It's usually downhill from about age 28 for attacking players although defenders can carry on into their thirties. I would say trade him in for a 20-22-year-old. There must be dozens about that a half-way decent scouting operation would be aware of.
5 Posted 24/12/2015 at 17:21:42
What has Mirallas done to Martinez to piss him off, to the extent of playing long-term injury comebacks et al?
I think, if we get the 'right team' selection, this game is well win-able. I think we definitely need urgent changes, but not wholesale, there are some players who have consistently under-performed, and they have had many chances to prove themselves.
6 Posted 24/12/2015 at 17:45:51
On the other hand, he could watch the game pass him by... but I'll give him the benefit of any doubt at this stage.
7 Posted 24/12/2015 at 17:54:01
Oviedo is another. I just think he's another that won't get fit enough on a regular basis and could be moved on in the summer. We do have plenty of cover at left-back if injuries and suspensions occur.
8 Posted 24/12/2015 at 18:08:11
9 Posted 24/12/2015 at 18:09:28
10 Posted 24/12/2015 at 18:16:05
11 Posted 24/12/2015 at 18:40:06
12 Posted 24/12/2015 at 18:55:05
Coyb. Let's put run together over the Xmas period. Toon Army first. I see a solid win there.We just need to keep our heads and style of play with a tighter defence.
13 Posted 24/12/2015 at 20:30:34
He is one of the cleverest footballers I have ever seen pull on a blue shirt. He would have been good enough to play with Ray Wilson.
That is why I am hoping we see him back on the pitch for the run in. His presence would make a huge difference to this team. A left side of Baines, Besic, and Pienaar is my idea of football heaven.
14 Posted 24/12/2015 at 20:53:42
I saw him or the U21's earlier in th season, he only played forty five minute( the first half) never got injured but hasn't appeared since. His brain was much quicker than anyone else on the field, and his body seemed to be okay, it was only a reserve game but did better than any Everton player on the pitch. Hope he can be of further use to th team, but time is running out for him, sadly, very sadly.
15 Posted 24/12/2015 at 20:56:24
16 Posted 24/12/2015 at 21:12:39
17 Posted 24/12/2015 at 22:46:35
Bobby's injury reports really aren't worth listening to.
19 Posted 24/12/2015 at 23:51:28
20 Posted 25/12/2015 at 00:08:58
If Steven is turning 34 in March it's hard to imagine he can still perform to that level in such a physically demanding league. The man never stayed still after playing a pass, it was his best feature.
Perhaps he can be the impact sub as others have suggested. Maybe similar to Osman during Roberto's first season?
I wish him well and look forward to seeing if he can prove many of us wrong. A fine player.
21 Posted 25/12/2015 at 00:40:29
22 Posted 25/12/2015 at 00:43:48
Come on let's be honest , Stevie was good for us for a long time , but his days are numbered.
He along with a few others should be moved on , weather they join another club or retire is there business.
Pienaar , Hibo , Osman are all dead certs.
Howard , Oviedo, Robles , Gibson ,Kone are also boarder line at least.
Naisy will probably go during January, but if not he falls into the last group of players .
We have to start to run the club a lot more like a business to improve ,as we haven't got the financial power of any of the top 4-6 clubs , and you don't see them giving out sentimental contracts.
23 Posted 25/12/2015 at 00:54:12
25 Posted 25/12/2015 at 03:27:56
Super Kev on the other hand CAN score goals and although his link up play is nowhere near as good is much more of a match winner.
26 Posted 25/12/2015 at 06:12:53
If we can get Steven Pienaar back and playing with the creative flair that he was playing with before the injury bug hit, even if only for the rest of this season, I will be satisfied. Anything longer than that will be a bonus.
27 Posted 25/12/2015 at 08:04:46
Regarding Oviedo, well he still may have a good influence on the pitch. I always admired his character for coming back from that horrendous injury at Stevenage, and perhaps he needs just a wee bit of patience from managers and supportes alike to get fully up to speed. If it is not to be, then that would be sad but let the situation be treated with good grace. Let's show a bit of appreciation, patience and class when discussing the long-term future of ageing players.
28 Posted 25/12/2015 at 08:23:36
A class act and if we can get a dozen or so games out of him, he could make a difference.
29 Posted 25/12/2015 at 10:04:59
30 Posted 25/12/2015 at 11:21:48
But his fitness of late is a major issue!
31 Posted 25/12/2015 at 12:28:21
32 Posted 25/12/2015 at 12:41:26
One of my favourite players from the Moyes era. We've missed having players like him and Arteta since he left. Closest we've got is Gibson or Osman, and Gibson's fitness issues have held him back.
So let's hope for seeing Stevie and Baines ripping teams apart down that left wing, with their almost telepathic understanding.
33 Posted 25/12/2015 at 15:08:43
I disagree with those that say he wasn't the same following his return from Spurs, he was influential (along with Jelavic and Gibson) upon arrival in January 2012, he was the creative shot in the arm that meant the team started playing some fantastic football once again and our upturn in form at the end of the 2011/12 season was evident.
Sadly though, like most it's hard to see how he's ever going to regain those years now after years of injury and he's barely featured under Martinez.
Possible stay around until the end of the season for experience but I think that will be that once May arrives.
A sad end though to one of the more gifted players of the Moyes era without doubt, and the day's of Pienaar, Baines, Cahill and Arteta working in tandem was one of the reasons for high league finishes
Merry Christmas to all.
34 Posted 25/12/2015 at 15:35:42
35 Posted 25/12/2015 at 15:50:13
From a many year old Blue fanatic in a warm and snowless Ontario
36 Posted 25/12/2015 at 16:23:26
Having Oviedo back will be a boost. He wasn't a crock until he snapped his leg in half two years ago, so hopefully this is just all one big hangover from that. Baines is almost finished at the top level so a player like Bryan would be a welcome replacement.
37 Posted 25/12/2015 at 17:36:23
38 Posted 25/12/2015 at 19:05:30
39 Posted 25/12/2015 at 19:08:53
I hope I'm wrong but can't see him making any contribution moving forward!
40 Posted 25/12/2015 at 22:18:29
Even if fit, his contract runs out in the summer and at 34 plus his recent injury history, I would be amazed if he was given another. (Then again, we gave Howard a 5 year deal when he was 34!)
Pienaar, Gibson, Osman, Hibbert, Kone, Oviedo....all players who's contracts run out in 6 months time. Looks like there'll be a big clear out in the summer. Perfect for a new incoming manager once the new owners come in (here's hoping anyway).
41 Posted 25/12/2015 at 23:35:26
Kone won't go, another year added to his contract based on appearances. That extension trigger might explain why Roberto kept playing him. Strange that. I wondered, and still do, why Roberto kept playing him.
Gibson and Oveido are different. For one, Gibby is "older", yet just turned 28. Seems he's fit now. Bryan still hasn't the found the balance he had before his leg was broke in two. Hate to think he can't finish this season. He's a player.
42 Posted 26/12/2015 at 03:22:22
Strange how decent players like Mirallis, Naismith and Gibson have been frozen out. Even when used as subs it's been too late late to make a game changing impact.
The Oviedo story is a heartbreaker. A terrific two footed player with a great fighting attitude, I pray that his hamstring problems have been finally sorted.
43 Posted 26/12/2015 at 03:39:50
You're quite correct that Oviedo has two feet...but he can only kick with one of them. I recall him scoring one with his right from a fair distance, but that strike aside I would actually say he's a very heavily left-footed player.
Certainly has a great attitude though and always has a smile despite his misfortune. I hope he still has a part to play.
44 Posted 26/12/2015 at 04:33:18
In my opinion Kone has done well. He's been exactly what he is - hardworking player of half decent ability.
Our best players seem to lack character, and our leaders seem to lack ability. It's up to Roberto to figure out whether he can improve on either deficiency our whether he needs an overhaul.
45 Posted 26/12/2015 at 05:01:47
Once a player goes through injury after injury, it as to take it's toll, as well as his age being against him.
But lets see what he can do when he returns. There as got to be a place for him surely in this team. But if he just warms the bench, well he as to go.
Does anyone have any idea what as happened to Conor McAleny? Now he is a wasted talent in my mind.
46 Posted 26/12/2015 at 05:04:35
47 Posted 26/12/2015 at 11:03:15
If we can get S.P. fit, then despite his age, he'll be a huge asset. 'Attackers over 28 are past it, only defenders continue into their thirties' whoever said that, you're talking bollocks. I could list names, but I can't be jibbed.
If we can get Pienaar in 10 games until the end of the season it would be a huge boost. End of.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.