Premier League

Baines close to Everton comeback

Leighton Baines (L) has been linked with a January move to Manchester United.
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England left-back Leighton Baines could be back in action next Thursday, Everton boss Roberto Martinez has revealed.

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Baines has been out of action since fracturing a toe during the Merseyside derby with Liverpool on November 23.

Sunday's match at Swansea comes too soon for Baines, but Martinez is not yet ruling him out of the Boxing Day match with Sunderland on December 26.

"He is not far away," Martinez said. "He trained at the beginning of the week and we are going to assess how he responds to it.

"I expect Leighton to be available probably, if it is not this weekend, then the week after.

"It is just measuring well that we don't rush him back too early. But I would say he is not too far away, which is a beautiful Christmas present as you can imagine.

"If he has no reaction, he will be available to play on the Boxing Day, or possibly even earlier. But it just depends on how the next two days show up in his foot."

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