Wednesday 13 December 2017


ROBERTO MARTINEZ has allayed fears that James McCarthy aggravated his troublesome hamstring in Everton's Europa League win at Young Boys Berne on Thursday.

The Ireland midfielder left the pitch in the second half of a comfortable win for the Toffees and that set alarm bells ringing given his season-long difficulties.

But Martinez delivered a positive update ahead of the Premier League clash with Leicester that will ease the fears of Everton fans and Irish observers.

"It was just a thought about the surface," explained the Spaniard, with a reference to the artificial pitch in Switzerland. "He's in great condition."

However, there was bad news for Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy yesterday as he looks set to be without the services of Noel Hunt for the remainder of their promotion charge.

The 32-year-old damaged his knee in last weekend's triumph at Fulham and scans delivered grim results for a player enjoying a new lease of life following a miserable stint at Leeds.

Medics estimate that the attacker will be sidelined for 12 weeks, and McCarthy has added Blackburn's Luke Varney on loan.

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