Everton handed John Stones boost

Everton defender John Stones

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed defender John Stones is in ‘perfect condition’ to take on Leicester at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The England international played the full 90 minutes of last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Norwich at Carrow Road, despite twisting an ankle in the warm-up and then picking up a further knee problem against Alex Neil’s side.

The double injury blow had made the centre back a doubt for this weekend’s clash against the surprise league leaders, but Martinez has now confirmed that the youngster is fully fit for the match.

He said: “In the last two days John has been able to do his normal work. He’s rejoined the group. There has been no reaction. He twisted his ankle in the warm-up at Norwich and then got a knock to his knee, but he’s had no effect from that – he’s in perfect condition for the weekend.”

The Toffees could also be boosted by the return of James McCarthy for the match, as the Republic of Ireland international steps up his recovery from the groin problem that has kept him out of action for the last three games.

Martinez admits that the midfielder could feature against the Foxes, but it is more likely that he will return to action for the Boxing Day clash with Newcastle at St James’ Park.

He added: “James McCarthy has started running on the pitch. We will assess him today and tomorrow then make a final decision if he can be involved in the squad against Leicester. He’s not too far away. If it’s not Leicester, it will be one of the games around Boxing Day.”

The Blues are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions and they are available at 10.00 to clinch a top four finish come the end of the Premier League season.

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