- Premier League
Barkley may make return in eight weeks, says Martinez
Everton manager Roberto Martinez says Ross Barkley is responding well to treatment for his knee injury and the midfielder could make his return to action in just eight weeks.
Early reports suggested the England international faced a five-month spell on the sidelines, but Martinez believes Barkley has the strength to make a quick recovery.
"His knee has reacted really well to treatment," Martinez told the club's official website.
"I don't know where the figure of five months [in the papers] came from but obviously the extent of the injury is a little unsure at the moment because we don't know how the next two weeks are going to develop.
"It's a medial ligament injury and we know that Ross, in terms of the power and the strength that he has in his body, he could easily react to treatment a lot better than other players.
"The length that Ross will be out is a little uncertain at the moment and it could be anything between the eight weeks that we mentioned or a little further. Until the end of the week, or probably the next 10 days, we won't know how the knee is progressing and how quickly Ross can be back."
The extent of Barkley's injury should be made clearer when the 20-year-old undergoes another scan; the swelling on his knee has so far made it difficult for Everton's medical team to judge the severity of the damage.
Martinez said: "Obviously we are keeping an eye, very closely, on how that knee reacts and every time we have a real improvement we are checking that.
"At the moment his knee is in a brace and this is a very important period of rehabilitation, making sure that the ligament can be repaired in a good position. Obviously we are going to get further updates in days to come but we need to leave Ross alone and leave him to recover."