Everton manager Roberto Martinez said the club must support Steven Pienaar as he continues his road to recovery.
Pienaar has played just one game of Premier League football this year after being hampered by injury.
The South African missed the end of last term with knee problems and after working his way back to full fitness he suffered a hamstring injury in pre-season.
Pienaar made his comeback in Everton’s U21 clash with Schalke on Tuesday, but Martinez knows there is still a long way to go for the 33-year-old.
“Sometimes you get into a wrong momentum and wrong dynamic and the more you want to get back, you get a little bit of a set-back and you push your body even more,” Martinez told the Liverpool Echo.
“And then that develops a chain of effects where everything goes against you.
“Unfortunately, Stevie has been away from feeling happy, feeling like a footballer and feeling as though he can enjoy his football and we need to help him.
“Now, we are being extra cautious with his recovery and giving him extra time to give him a good period of adaptation.”
Martinez added: “But, as we know, Stevie is a unique footballer within our squad and we need to get him fit because the margin we can improve, with him in the squad, is huge.”
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