Everton manager Roberto Martinez confirmed captain Phil Jagielka is nearing a return to first-team action after over two months on the sidelines.
Jagielka has not featured since the end of October after suffering a knee injury in Everton’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates.
The 33-year-old was given a spot on the bench in Everton’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Sunday but did not feature.
Martinez said Jagielka will not be among the starters in their League Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City on Wednesday, but is hopeful the defender could be involved against Dagenham and Redbridge in the FA Cup third round next Saturday.
“No, he’s not fit to start [on Wednesday],” Martinez said. “Today, he would have only been fit for a maximum of 15 minutes.
“We’re working really hard with him but today it was just important for us to have that figure of a captain and that feeling of comfort.
“He will be part of the squad in the next few games. I think maybe the FA Cup third round is a more realistic aim in terms of starting a game.”
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