Arteta closing in on Toffees return

Influential Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta has revealed that he

hopes to be back in action for the Toffees inside the next two

months.

The 27-year-old Spaniard has spent the last 10 months on the

sidelines with a knee ligament injury, but believes he can see

light at the end of the tunnel.

Toffees boss David Moyes will welcome that news, as he

continues to struggle under the weight of a crippling injury list,

while Arteta admits he cannot wait to get back into action and

start helping Everton’s push for Europe.

“For the past few days I have been able to run at a good

rhythm and I am starting to train with the rest of the squad,” he

said in the Liverpool Echo. “I don’t have pain in my knee. I expect

to be back on the pitch in less than two months.”

He added: “It has been hell. I would spend eight to 10 hours

a day just dedicated to recuperating. I was obsessed.

“But now, fortunately, I can say that everything is going

well and all I want is to be with my team-mates and help the team.”

Arteta saw fellow long-term injury victim Phil Neville make

his eagerly-anticipated return to action against Burnley on Monday,

with the Everton skipper insisting that he is now ready to get his

2009/10 campaign up and running.

“The knee feels great,” Neville said. “I had only trained for

a couple of days before Monday so for me to actually be back

involved was a little bit of a miracle.

“It was the biggest injury I’ve had in my career and I’m just

thankful now that I’m back on the pitch doing what I enjoy most,

playing football, and helping out the players and playing in front

of those great fans.”