• Premier League

Deulofeu ruled out for five weeks with torn hamstring

ESPN staff
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Gerard Deulofeu had hit top form for Everton in the four games leading up to his injury © PA Photos
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Everton's on-loan Spanish forward Gerard Deulofeu will be out for "the best part of five weeks" with a torn hamstring, but Leighton Baines is set to be back in time for the Boxing Day fixture with Sunderland.

Deulofeu, who has scored twice in his last four appearances for the club during his season-long loan from Barcelona, was carried off on a stretcher during Saturday's 4-1 Premier League home win over Fulham.

Manager Roberto Martinez initially thought that the 19-year-old would be sidelined for a lengthy spell by telling him to prepare for the final third of the campaign.

The results of scans were more promising, however, suggesting that Deulofeu could be back in time for the Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion on January 20.

"We had the scans and it was confirmed that he had a soft tissue injury in his right hamstring," Martinez told Everton's website. "Now we need to make sure that he recovers well.

"We don't think he's going to be out for too long - probably the best part of five weeks. But knowing Gerard, he's a sprinter, and we need to make sure he is fully fit. You don't want to have a problem with these sort of injuries for the future.

"I think that's going to refresh him and make him a real, real impact player when he comes back. We're excited about that."

Martinez also hopes to have left-back Baines back in action for the first time since suffering a fractured toe during the 3-3 draw with Liverpool on November 23.

Martinez did not rule out the possibility of Baines playing some part at Swansea this coming Sunday, but suggested that a return over Christmas was more realistic.

"What we're hoping is that he's going to be fit for the Christmas period," he said. "That will be an incredible boost to the squad, and it will be great to see Leighton running around again.

"I always felt Leighton would recover quicker than anyone expected and he's been doing really, really well.

"But obviously, it's a bit too early to see if he's available for Sunday. We'll find out over the next few days."

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