England midfielder Ross Barkley close to Everton return

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, who is yet to play this season, has recovered from a knee injury and is close to a first-team return, his manager Roberto Martinez said on Thursday.

Reuters| Updated: Oct 16, 2014, 22:22 PM IST
England midfielder Ross Barkley close to Everton return

London: Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, who is yet to play this season, has recovered from a knee injury and is close to a first-team return, his manager Roberto Martinez said on Thursday.

The Spaniard told reporters that the 20-year-old England international might be ready for Everton`s home game against Aston Villa on Saturday but a more likely return was the Europa League match at Lille next Thursday.

"Ross is really close," Martinez told reporters. 

"He’s had a really good period of work, came back on Monday working with the rest of the group. Sometimes you forget how good a footballer he is, how infectious he is around the place. He`s not too far away."

Everton finished fifth last season but have made a poor start to this campaign with one win in their opening seven games which has left them 17th in the 20-team table on six points, two above the bottom trio who all have four.

Barkley made his England debut in August last year and has nine caps.