Only a few weeks ago, the England international was describing how he has been pain-free for the first time in years but manager Roberto Martinez spoke today of how a niggling problem has flared up again which explains why he has not been in the starting XI in recent weeks.
Martinez has indicated that Baines is able to play but not without discomfort and that he expects him to be an option for Saturday.
"Since the surgery, it has been giving [Leighton] a little bit of soreness and managing that pain at times has been a little bit difficult," the Catalan said. "When he came on against Villa, he felt he had to play through pain at times which is not ideal, so we have to make sure we solve that because it is not fair on Leighton to be feeling pain every time he steps on the football pitch.
"We are going to be seeing the specialist but it shouldn't stop him from training and being with the group. He's just been carrying a little niggle, part of the injury that kept him away from the pitch.
"We need to make sure that final step is sorted and it clears him from pain from now until the end of the season. He should be available for the weekend."
Bryan Oviedo has performed well in Baines's absence and softened the blow of the club having to nurse it's first-choice fullback back to health but the Costa Rican is now a doubt himself for this weekend's clash with West Ham after picking up a knock in the 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Tuesday.
"Bryan is going to be assessed," Martinez explained. He has got a little bit of a knock but it is not a major problem. I don't think he will train on Thursday but we will look at him over the next 48 hours to see if he can make the squad or not."
Martinez added that Muhamed Besic and Darron Gibson will be given late fitness tests but should be available but Tom Cleverley is a doubt after missing the Villa game with a chest infection.
Reader Comments (72)
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1 Posted 03/03/2016 at 15:25:01
This is quite worrying, two operations, and still getting problems... not good.
2 Posted 03/03/2016 at 15:25:18
Message to Roberto don't even think about an extension!
3 Posted 03/03/2016 at 15:33:55
His market price goes down drastically due to the injury, too, I suppose.
4 Posted 03/03/2016 at 16:03:38
5 Posted 03/03/2016 at 16:11:55
6 Posted 03/03/2016 at 16:25:03
7 Posted 03/03/2016 at 16:35:52
A few United friends of mine did say he struggled with fitness because of his lifestyle, which appears to have proven true. Not suggesting anything untoward, I believe he just enjoys what most of us would call a normal life but at the top levels of the modern game, players just can't get away with that any more as it demands finely tuned athletes who follow strict diets. Another explanation for the increase in muscle, ligament and hamstring related injuries in my opinion.
A great passer of the ball and always wants to move the ball forward. Shame as you say and definitely a question of what could have been.
On Baines, I hope not as he is still our best left back, however the signs he will now suffer reoccurring niggles on a regular basis are ominous.
9 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:06:06
I hope and expect to see him back to his very best next season in my opinion, barring (God forbid) some deeper injury, there is no reason why he cannot give us another 2-3 years of top service.
10 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:09:21
11 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:30:38
12 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:39:13
13 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:44:17
14 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:13:18
15 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:26:07
We all view things differently, but would probably want to see him on the pitch for a bit longer before I wax lyrical.
16 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:30:29
This can only mean one thing: Martinez is lying. He's getting his excuses in early for when Galloway starts at left back on Saturday if Oviedo is out. He's refusing to start Baines just because Baines called him out in front of the whole squad at a team meeting. Baines has been Distined. Or is it Eto'o'd?
Another rumour now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true.
17 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:35:08
18 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:38:37
At his best, he is pure class. I hope the medical team can sort this out, as he is an intelligent player with the sort of physique that one would expect to go on playing, well into his mid-30s.
19 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:54:28
"Another rumour now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true."
Don't think that would stand up in a court of law! lol
20 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:56:26
This is probably why. Seems like there was a reluctance to make what on paper, looked a straight swap.
21 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:03:49
22 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:10:41
23 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:16:52
I'd put Galloway in till the other two are fit.
24 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:24:56
Off topic but did Distin ever come out and tell us what happened with him? He said once the season was over, he'd reveal.
25 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:26:05
Did this injury with the resulting pain not show up during training , if it did why didn't he go to see a specialist instead of going to Dubai.?
26 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:26:45
27 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:35:55
I had ankle surgery at 33, forever getting sprains even when playing on better pitches down to over pronunciations as my ligaments had been stretched so much. Surgeon told me I had grade 3 arthritis and my ankle was covered in scar tissue. After removing the bone spur he just said "I'd pack football in, you will forever struggle with your ankles not worth it"
For Baines he's probably at a stage where he has achieved a fair bit. By all accounts he sees football as a job, music is his passion. On the wind down I think. One of my favourite Everton players in the last 30 years.
28 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:54:45
As Jamie says, it seems like something you'd love to be true.
Best laugh I've had on here for ages. Proven beyond a shadow of a doubt!!!
29 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:05:29
30 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:10:01
31 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:10:13
This can only mean one thing: Martinez is lying."
As we say in America, WTF! I think this comment "proves beyond a shadow of a doubt" that hate does blind reason.
32 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:20:42
33 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:30:46
34 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:33:29
The decision to install bedrooms into Finch Farm is very clever, and will hopefully improve our chances of bringing more players through the ranks at Everton.
He says some kids need four sessions a day, which sounds very impressive to me. The more you immerse yourself into something, the better you will become at it, so hopefully this turns out to be a master stroke for the club.
35 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:33:32
36 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:42:56
37 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:44:02
If Baines, came out and said there was nothing wrong with his ankle, then Martinez, could well find himself finished, with a lot more of our crowd.
I think the only way you can get away with being a snide, is if you're a successful snide. Just got to trust that Martinez, is telling the truth I think.
38 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:47:24
39 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:49:19
Listen to McIlroy driving off the tee, listen to the sound of ball on bat for a sure home run. Well, when Leighton Baines strikes a football, 15 yards or 25 yards, he generates a sound no other squad member can match. I heard that unique sound the other day and it gave me great pleasure.
40 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:54:08
An indoor pitch is another very big step forward, because the wind at Finch Farm must make it really difficult to practice sometimes.
I think Vialli, wrote a piece in The Independent years ago when he became the boss at Chelsea, saying that it was very difficult to practice certain things in England, because of the wind. Honest?
41 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:54:34
If he was freezing Baines out, why put him in the squad at all? Then he brings him for 10 mins! Not exactly freezing him out, is it?
42 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:04:17
43 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:04:35
I have two reasons: Firstly, when the crowd booed at the end of the Swansea game, Leighton just carried on walking towards them clapping, as if to say I've had enough of this shit as well.
Secondly, when City scored their second goal in the Semi-Final the other week, I'm sure he gave Jagielka a look as if to say, "We're fucking finished here" Reason being was that Roberto had just changed our gameplan, when he swapped Kone, for Gerry, which meant we no longer had the pace to play on the counter attack.
I'm probably wrong on both counts, but I did say at the time that I expected our senior players to be knocking on the manager's door after that debacle.
44 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:16:32
46 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:32:27
47 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:48:25
My post at #15 was written with tongue firmly in cheek. Though judging by some of the responses, it just shows how easily a rumour becomes the truth for some.
48 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:51:23
Glad about that. Was thinking you'd gone off the deep end!
49 Posted 03/03/2016 at 22:22:44
His set pieces have struggled to beat the first man for years too! He could well have an ankle problem. There seems to be something holding him back, when previously he had a left foot like a magic wand.
With modern surgery, hopefully they can get to the bottom of it.
50 Posted 03/03/2016 at 23:12:01
51 Posted 03/03/2016 at 23:24:41
So please Roberto lets call it time at the end of the season for Gibson we are awash with quality players for his position.
52 Posted 03/03/2016 at 23:27:09
Please get better, son!!
53 Posted 03/03/2016 at 23:39:15
I was reminiscing the other day about one of my favourite footballers Johnny Morrissey. When I was a boy I used to stand at the wall near the clock on the Goodison Rd terraces. That was Morrisey's patch in the second half if we won the toss.
I had a worms eye view of his great dribbling skills but I can still hear the "sound" when he used to cross the ball (with either foot) for Joe Royle.
I am a fan of both Oviedo and Galloway I like their fighting spirit. However Leighton Baines is a level above both of them. I would like to see him back in the team playing the way we know he can.
Regarding the manager / player relationship(s) are concerned, having hit the "reset" button due to us having a new owner, I am not going there. I will wait to see what the close season brings.
As far as his Baines' injury is concerned I really hope he doesn't have any more surgery. They should look for a different solution.
54 Posted 04/03/2016 at 00:11:12
I'm sure quite a few blues will wonder why I'd care less about England in the Euros, and if I'm honest, I don't.
That said, I really admire Baines and all he's done for us, he's always given 100%, he's stayed loyal, and he deserves his shot at this competition.
I'd love to see him play and excel in the Euros before coming back to us and reminding a few short minded blues just how good he is.
Best of luck Bainesy lad.
56 Posted 04/03/2016 at 03:42:53
If after recovering from the surgery and was still having niggling pain, why was he not sent back to the specialist right away, and why was the player on the bench if you were aware his ankle was still giving him a problem and by playing him you could have ended his career.
I thought that as Martinez was a qualified physiotherapist he would have been certain a player was fully fit before his was back into consideration for the first team, and not have even have him on the bench if he wasn't.
57 Posted 04/03/2016 at 05:38:41
58 Posted 04/03/2016 at 05:47:50
59 Posted 04/03/2016 at 06:29:55
60 Posted 04/03/2016 at 06:30:05
61 Posted 04/03/2016 at 06:49:34
62 Posted 04/03/2016 at 06:54:41
You could argue (WBA apart) the results have justified him not being included but, let's face it, imo we've played no-one in that period. I think most of us are happy when Baines is on the teamsheet because he has been Mr Consistency down the years.
As much as I like Galloway and Oviedo, they're not at Baines's level. No, I personally believe this runs deeper and it's probably soft lad flexing his muscles... Only what we've come to expect under him!
63 Posted 04/03/2016 at 09:40:04
Contradictions though, life is full of them. Four sessions a day might be good for a kid who is learning the game, but surely even two is one two many, when you get down to the nitty gritty of the EPL.
Overtraining, or overcoahing, could be one of the main reasons we don't seem to play for 90 minutes under Martinez, though. Who knows?
64 Posted 04/03/2016 at 12:00:30
At his age he will aprerciate the rest and come back a stronger player.
65 Posted 04/03/2016 at 12:07:01
66 Posted 04/03/2016 at 12:24:14
67 Posted 04/03/2016 at 12:28:39
Phillip Lahm - 32
Bacary Sagna - 33
Ivanovic - 32
Clichy - 30
Lichsteiner - 32
Juanfran - 31
Piszczek - 30
Zabaleta - 31
Need I go on? :)
69 Posted 04/03/2016 at 13:36:06
He's 31 now so I'm hoping he can somehow get back to his best and maybe have another good 4 year's, whether he'll get back to the levels he was operating at between 2009-2013 is a big ask but we can only hope.
Would be sad if his twilight years were blighted by injury in the same manner of Steven Pienaar, the guy who he linked up once so well with.
70 Posted 04/03/2016 at 13:41:18
You make a good point there with the age of those fantastic fullbacks.
The only worry when you reach your early 30s is staving off injuries because you don't get the same quick recovery .
I'd suggest to avoid what's happened with the likes of Pienaar, Baines needs this ankle issue resolved for next season, the guy can't start another season with this recurring issue.
71 Posted 04/03/2016 at 21:59:14
No, Baines is and has been a little out of sorts this season, maybe it is the injury maybe not either way he has lost his first choice place simple.
I do expect Baines to work hard and fight to be our first choice left back, equally so,I expect the same of ALL our first team players to fight hard to be named in the starting 11.
That is the way it should be... always.
72 Posted 05/03/2016 at 09:06:27
On February 2, I went to see the coach about the proposal for West Ham who were offering me a transfer until the end of the season,' Distin told L'Equipe.
'The next day, at a press conference, he said that he counted on me and that I was part of the team. Since that day I haven't been called up once.
'I have no idea why. Ask him. We have not spoken since. There are a lot of things that are lost in football, and you hope there is still a bit of respect. But okay, I've played at the top level for 20 years so I'm enjoying my family weekends. I keep my spirits up.
73 Posted 05/03/2016 at 10:03:28
74 Posted 05/03/2016 at 10:35:37
Come on, Martinez, grow some balls sort this out, stop your bullshit.
76 Posted 05/03/2016 at 10:53:18
Or maybe Roberto Martinez is a spiteful child cutting off his nariz to spite his cara?
78 Posted 05/03/2016 at 11:43:57
If baines was fit and had a fallout with thd manager he would simply say "I'm fit and available for selection, my ankle is fine" ... why wouldn't he???
Its a convenient conspiracy for the Martinez out brigade.
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