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Martinez fears Barkley lay-off

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has revealed concerns that Ross Barkley could be set for a spell out of action with a broken toe.

The England international picked up the injury in last weekend’s 4-0 FA Cup victory over QPR and was absent for Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League triumph at home to Norwich City.

Barkley has been in fine form this season, with four goals from 21 appearances in all competitions – but Martinez will likely have to make do without the 20-year-old for the time being.

“Ross Barkley had a knock on his toe and we’re going to assess him, but it looks like he’s going to be out for a while,” said the former Wigan Athletic boss.

“It could be (broken) and that’s what we’re worried about. It’s a very similar incident to the one Leighton Baines had.

“Before we say what it is, we’re going to have more scans but the fear is it’s a fracture.

Martinez was wary about placing a timescale on the midfielder’s recovery, but confirmed Barkley will join the club for their warm-weather training camp in Tenerife this week despite the problem.

The Spaniard continued: “Sometimes these fractures, if there is no displacement and they settle straight away, you can play straight away.

“Some can go a couple of weeks and others a bit longer like Leighton. Because it was a bad one it took six weeks.

“Knowing Ross, being a young man, hopefully we’ll take him for some sun with us and some Vitamin D intake can accelarate the process, but it’s difficult to tell yet.”

Sat 11 January, 2014
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