Saturday 24 February 2018

Darron Gibson a doubt for the games against England, Northern Ireland and Scotland

Everton's Darron Gibson
Everton's Darron Gibson

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Republic of Ireland international Darron Gibson will not feature for the rest of the season.

The Spaniard is pleased with the progress the Derryman has made since being ruled out of action with a broken metatarsal since Everton’s 2-1 league win over QPR on March 22.

Martinez has had to contend with a number of injuries this season, including defenders Tony Hibbert and Bryan Oviedo as well as South African winger Steven Piennar.

“Tony Hibbert and Darron Gibson are still working well but I don’t think they’re going to make this season,” says Martinez.

“Bryan Oviedo has had a very good first few days of treatment and we’re hoping he’ll be fine for the start of August.”

The situation means that Gibson will be in a race against time to be fir for action with Martin O'Neill's Ireland next month.

Ireland play Northern Ireland in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Aviva Stadium on June 4, England in an international friendly on June 7 before a crucial European Championship qualifier against Scotland six days later.

The Everton boss says he would also prefer to hold back Pienaar for pre-season, rather than risk him in their remaining three matches.

The South African has made just one appearance — as a 28th-minute substitute against Swansea on April 11 — since mid-December because of injury.

With Everton having little to play for in their final three games, Martinez would rather the 33-year-old concentrated on getting himself ready for next season.

“Stevie is working really hard now to be involved before the season ends but it will be difficult to find out one way or the other,” he told evertontv.

“We’ll monitor his situation and if he’s 100 per cent over the next three weeks it will be great to see him on a football pitch.

“If not, we’ll make sure he has a good fresh start in pre-season and make sure he’s in the best possible shape to have a good campaign.

“It’s a period now where we want Stevie to be fit before the end of the season but, in one way or another, he has to be starting pre-season 100 per cent.”

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