MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 03:28:14

Roberto Martinez: 'Gerard Deulofeu close to return'

Roberto Martinez believes that Gerard Deulofeu is only a week away from returning to the Everton team.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has revealed that on-loan winger Gerard Deulofeu is closing in on a return to action after more than a month out.

Deulofeu suffered a hamstring injury against Fulham in December, but the Toffees boss said that the player could be fit again by the end of next week.

"Gerard is not too far away," Sky Sports News quotes Martinez as saying. "I will be very surprised if he is not available at the end of next week. That will be really positive because we knew it would be a tricky injury for the player he is.

"He's a real sprinter and that injury needs to be well looked after. I will be delighted if we can get him back then."

The 19-year-old is on loan from La Liga giants Barcelona.

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Betis' coach Pepe Mel reacts during the UEFA Europa league Group I football match Real Betis vs Vitoria Guimaraes at the Benito Villamarin stadium in Sevilla on October 24, 2013
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