Everton's Leighton Baines hoping for festive return

Baines hoping for festive return
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Full-back Leighton Baines targets a return to action with Everton over the Christmas period.

Leighton Baines has expressed his desire to return to action with Everton over the Christmas period.

The full-back has been sidelined by a fractured toe that he suffered during last month's Merseyside derby.

Manager Roberto Martinez recently conceded that he was unsure as to when the 29-year-old would be available again, but Baines has revealed that he is keen to be involved before the end of December.

"The manager said early on it's quite a broad time frame that you can be looking at," he told the club's official website. "We thought about different things -­ injections and stuff -­ but we didn't know whether that would set us back further, so we are just trying to let it heal naturally at the moment.

"Obviously the schedule thickens up around Christmas and New Year, so you like to think you would be back and available to help the team at that point, but it's just one of those things. You have to wait and see."

Speculation over the last few months has linked Baines with a January switch to Manchester United, who are said to have failed with two bids for the England international during the summer.

On-loan Everton midfielder Gareth Barry in action against Chelsea on September 14, 2013
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