Leighton Baines: Everton defender set to return from broken toe

Leighton Baines (left) set to return against Sunderland on Boxing Day after injury lay-off

Everton defender Leighton Baines is set to return from injury against Sunderland on Boxing Day, says Toffees manager Roberto Martinez.

Baines, 29, has been out of action for five weeks with a broken toe.

"Leighton Baines is getting really close and depending how today and tomorrow go, he should be available," said Martinez.

The England left-back was injured in Everton's 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Goodison Park on 23 November.

Replacement Bryan Oviedo has impressed in his absence as Everton have picked up 13 out of 15 points.

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However, Martinez added: "Of course we have missed Leighton. You can't overestimate his quality, experience and know-how.

"We have had an incredible replacement in Bryan Oviedo. He has been terrific. But you want players in good moments of form to be available.

"We are desperate to have Leighton Baines back and desperate for Bryan to be in that moment of form. We need to make sure we use that well for the good of the squad."

Baines, who has played five times for England this season, was the subject of a £28m joint bid for him and Marouane Fellaini from Manchester United in the summer.

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