James McCarthy: 'I hope injuries are finally behind me'

James McCarthy should line up for Everton in Saturday's Merseyside derby

Everton midfielder James McCarthy feels “well looked after” by the club and is optimistic his hamstring troubles are behind him.

Prior to the Merseyside derby, McCarthy’s hamstring issue had restricted him to only two appearances since November, and his manager Roberto Martinez was forced to dismiss speculation the 24-year-old had suffered a fresh setback in his rehabilitation.

Martinez also said he expected McCarthy would be fully fit for the rest of the season, and the Republic of Ireland international went on to last the full duration against Liverpool, before playing the whole of the second half four days later at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

McCarthy (right)  has now travelled to Switzerland with his team-mates for today’s Europa League last-32 first leg against Young Boys.  “I have felt good in the last couple of games and I have been training all week,” said McCarthy.

“It is just good to back, training with the lads and involved in the games.

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“To be honest, I think I have been well looked after off the pitch.

“We have changed a few things in training - the gaffer has looked after me and I have not been training too much, as he has been pulling me out and letting me do things in the gym. I’m just delighted to be back involved, and long may it continue.”

As well as a maiden one in McCarthy’s club career, this is Everton’s first continental campaign in five seasons, and it has gone very well so far.

He played in four of their five games in a group stage that saw them emerge as winners of their pool with 11 points.

And McCarthy added: “It has been brilliant - so far, so good.

“But we need to focus on this game. The gaffer has shown us clips of the way in which Young Boys play and this is not an easy place to come.”