Baines bothered by continuing ankle problem

, 3 March, 72comments  |  Jump to most recent

Leighton Baines is due to see a specialist about pain that persists in his ankle despite two corrective surgeries last summer.

Only a few weeks ago, the England international was describing how he has been pain-free for the first time in years but manager Roberto Martinez spoke today of how a niggling problem has flared up again which explains why he has not been in the starting XI in recent weeks.

Martinez has indicated that Baines is able to play but not without discomfort and that he expects him to be an option for Saturday.

"Since the surgery, it has been giving [Leighton] a little bit of soreness and managing that pain at times has been a little bit difficult," the Catalan said. "When he came on against Villa, he felt he had to play through pain at times which is not ideal, so we have to make sure we solve that because it is not fair on Leighton to be feeling pain every time he steps on the football pitch.

"We are going to be seeing the specialist but it shouldn't stop him from training and being with the group. He's just been carrying a little niggle, part of the injury that kept him away from the pitch.

"We need to make sure that final step is sorted and it clears him from pain from now until the end of the season. He should be available for the weekend."

Bryan Oviedo has performed well in Baines's absence and softened the blow of the club having to nurse it's first-choice fullback back to health but the Costa Rican is now a doubt himself for this weekend's clash with West Ham after picking up a knock in the 3-1 win at Aston Villa on Tuesday.

"Bryan is going to be assessed," Martinez explained. He has got a little bit of a knock but it is not a major problem. I don't think he will train on Thursday but we will look at him over the next 48 hours to see if he can make the squad or not."

Martinez added that Muhamed Besic and Darron Gibson will be given late fitness tests but should be available but Tom Cleverley is a doubt after missing the Villa game with a chest infection.


Reader Comments (72)

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Barry Pearce
1 Posted 03/03/2016 at 15:25:01
Explains his absence. Although I like Oviedo. For me Leighton is still number one.

This is quite worrying, two operations, and still getting problems... not good.

Denis Richardson
2 Posted 03/03/2016 at 15:25:18
Gibson? Totally forgotten he still existed! Thankfully his contract is up in the summer.

Message to Roberto – don’t even think about an extension!

Jakub Kollar
3 Posted 03/03/2016 at 15:33:55
I really doubt that we will ever see Leighton playing on the same level as before. It must be really frustrating for him.

His market price goes down drastically due to the injury, too, I suppose.

Phil Smith
4 Posted 03/03/2016 at 16:03:38
I think he would've by now if the boss thought for one second he was gonna keep him. Shame. Great player when fit and on-form.
Harold Matthews
5 Posted 03/03/2016 at 16:11:55
Shocked by this news. Thought Baines looked terrific the other day.
Mark Tanton
6 Posted 03/03/2016 at 16:25:03
This is how the downward slope begins.
Danny O'Neill
7 Posted 03/03/2016 at 16:35:52
He is Phil; Ferguson thought it, Moyes thought it and Roberto thinks it. It's probably why he's been given so many chances to prove it as everyone wants him to stay fit because we know how good he can / could be.

A few United friends of mine did say he struggled with fitness because of his lifestyle, which appears to have proven true. Not suggesting anything untoward, I believe he just enjoys what most of us would call a normal life but at the top levels of the modern game, players just can't get away with that any more as it demands finely tuned athletes who follow strict diets. Another explanation for the increase in muscle, ligament and hamstring related injuries in my opinion.

A great passer of the ball and always wants to move the ball forward. Shame as you say and definitely a question of what could have been.

On Baines, I hope not as he is still our best left back, however the signs he will now suffer reoccurring niggles on a regular basis are ominous.

Tony Hill
9 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:06:06
A fine player and a fine ambassador for the club. I hope he is rested and nursed back to full and proper health rather than being required to play in pain. That looks like what Martinez is carefully looking to do. Leighton has not looked himself for a while in my opinion, despite the odd promising game.

I hope and expect to see him back to his very best next season – in my opinion, barring (God forbid) some deeper injury, there is no reason why he cannot give us another 2-3 years of top service.

Peter Bell
10 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:09:21
Its Bracewell all over again, two operations but no one knows what the problem is, cannot believe 30 years later still having the same diagnosis problems, what are Everton paying these medical expert for.
Graham Pearce
11 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:30:38
Give it a rest Peter. You seriously think the same medical staff are at the club 30 years later. Moaning for moaning's sake.
Duncan McDine
12 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:39:13
As I’ve discovered myself, when you have old ankle injuries, its no fun being the wrong side of 30. Feel really bad for him as this is probably the start of the end for his footballing career. Let's hope I’m wrong... It wouldn’t be the first time!
Michael Polley
13 Posted 03/03/2016 at 17:44:17
Sad to hear this. No doubt painkilling injections will keep him on the pitch until they hopefully get it resolved, but that could be causing more problems in the long-term.
Helen Mallon
14 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:13:18
Peter Bell @8, sometimes you just can’t diagnose the problem. Sometimes that’s the way it’s to be.
Paul Nicholls
15 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:26:07
Harold #4. "Thought Baines looked terrific the other day." Seriously? He was on for the last 10 minutes. I’m a big fan of Bainsey – best left we’ve had since Psycho Pat, who wasn’t as good a footballer – but I didn’t note anything particularly terrific in the dying embers of the Villa game.

We all view things differently, but would probably want to see him on the pitch for a bit longer before I wax lyrical.

Jim Jennings
16 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:30:29
The player says he's pain free. The manager says he's playing with pain. All this a day of so after Oviedo picks up a knock against Villa.

This can only mean one thing: Martinez is lying. He's getting his excuses in early for when Galloway starts at left back on Saturday if Oviedo is out. He's refusing to start Baines just because Baines called him out in front of the whole squad at a team meeting. Baines has been Distined. Or is it Eto'o'd?

Another rumour now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true.

Paul Nicholls
17 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:35:08
Jim, if he did call indeed him out in front of the squad, he will have my eternal admiration. Bainsey, even if on the wane, has been one of our finest for many years. Even better if he has a big pair of cahones to front up to the Charlatan.
Eddie Dunn
18 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:38:37
The ankle is a complicated joint, and it is a shame that Leighton has been carrying this problem for a couple of years, it seems. His chances of making the England squad for the Euros must be diminishing with every week that passes by.

At his best, he is pure class. I hope the medical team can sort this out, as he is an intelligent player with the sort of physique that one would expect to go on playing, well into his mid-30s.

Oliver Molloy
19 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:54:28

"Another rumour now proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be true."

Don’t think that would stand up in a court of law! lol

Darren Hind
20 Posted 03/03/2016 at 18:56:26
Did anybody else think it took an absolute age to make the swap when Oviedo was injured at Villa? Even before the goal went in.

This is probably why. Seems like there was a reluctance to make what on paper, looked a straight swap.

Paul Nicholls
21 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:03:49
Darren, maybe the delay was due to Roberto prevaricating as to whether to bring Bainsey or Kone on to replace Oviedo......
Brin Williams
22 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:10:41
JJ13 - I think you're right there - Galloway it is then.
Kevin Elliott
23 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:16:52
Wouldn’t risk Bainsie if he’s got a niggle, might need him for later in the season. Oviedo is always getting injured.

I’d put Galloway in till the other two are fit.

Jamie Barlow
24 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:24:56
You mean you'd love it to be true Jim?

Off topic but did Distin ever come out and tell us what happened with him? He said once the season was over, he'd reveal.

Bill Gall
25 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:26:05
Why do you even have him on the bench if you are aware that he will feel pain every time he steps on the pitch, and it is unfair for him to be in pain every time he does.

Did this injury with the resulting pain not show up during training , if it did why didn't he go to see a specialist instead of going to Dubai.?

Paul Nicholls
26 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:26:45
Save him for the Cup I say, San fairy Ann left to play for in the league. Oh, sorry, forgot we are pushing for a European place.
Peter Roberts
27 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:35:55
Beginning of the end of the line for him I think. What a player in his prime though.

I had ankle surgery at 33, forever getting sprains even when playing on better pitches down to over pronunciations as my ligaments had been stretched so much. Surgeon told me I had grade 3 arthritis and my ankle was covered in scar tissue. After removing the bone spur he just said "I’d pack football in, you will forever struggle with your ankles – not worth it"

For Baines he’s probably at a stage where he has achieved a fair bit. By all accounts he sees football as a job, music is his passion. On the wind down I think. One of my favourite Everton players in the last 30 years.

David Greenwood
28 Posted 03/03/2016 at 19:54:45
Jim @13, hope you're never called for jury duty.

As Jamie says, it seems like something you'd love to be true.

Best laugh I've had on here for ages. Proven beyond a shadow of a doubt!!!

Michael Williams
29 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:05:29
Baines didn't look right the last few games he played. Two ankle surgeries in two years is pretty hard to come back from. I hope it's just spoke sort of muscle/joint fatigue.
Colin Glassar
30 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:10:01
Echoes of Dean Ashton? Had several ops until he had to retire at 24(?). Gutted for Bainsey and Oviedo (who appears to be a serial weakling) but what's the problem playing with a knock or a bit of pain? Bert Trautman played with a fucking broken neck and don't get me started on Dave Whelan, he played a cup final game after having his leg amputated!!
Michael Williams
31 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:10:13
Jim #13 - "The player says he's pain free. The manager says he's playing with pain. All this a day of so after Oviedo picks up a knock against Villa.
This can only mean one thing: Martinez is lying."

As we say in America, WTF! I think this comment "proves beyond a shadow of a doubt" that hate does blind reason.

Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:20:42
Have to agree with Bill@22.
Ian Bennett
33 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:30:46
We should of signed Ashton and Darren Bent with the Rooney money. Instead we signed Biffa Beattie...
Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:33:29
On another note, this Martinez might drive most of us crazy, but he has introduced some very good players to Everton, along with some very bright ideas.

The decision to install bedrooms into Finch Farm is very clever, and will hopefully improve our chances of bringing more players through the ranks at Everton.

He says some kids need four sessions a day, which sounds very impressive to me. The more you immerse yourself into something, the better you will become at it, so hopefully this turns out to be a master stroke for the club.

Martin Mason
35 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:33:32
I see Baines effectively finished at Everton for crossing RM. I prefer to see RM leave than Baines. Our manager is not only a total waffling bullshitter, he is a liar.
Colin Glassar
36 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:42:56
I was just going to write the same, Tony. Martinez seems to take a holistic approach and is still putting in place the missing pieces. We might just have to be a bit more patient with him.
Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:44:02
Martin if he his telling lies about Baines, then he's playing a very dangerous game. He's One of the most popular players at Everton, and is also respected for coming across as a very decent human being.

If Baines, came out and said there was nothing wrong with his ankle, then Martinez, could well find himself finished, with a lot more of our crowd.

I think the only way you can get away with being a snide, is if you're a successful snide. Just got to trust that Martinez, is telling the truth I think.

Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:47:24
Ian (#32), yes you are right there, Alan Stubbs told Moyes to sign Dean Ashton after Everton played Crewe Alexandra in a cup game but wouldn’t pay Crewe what they wanted. They haggled over next to nothing, so he went to WHU. Dithering Dave dithered again.

Harold Matthews
39 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:49:19
Paul (#12). I was referring to his general well-being. Looked really up for it. Quick and sharp and hit the ball with power and accuracy.

Listen to McIlroy driving off the tee, listen to the sound of ball on bat for a sure home run. Well, when Leighton Baines strikes a football, 15 yards or 25 yards, he generates a sound no other squad member can match. I heard that unique sound the other day and it gave me great pleasure.

Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:54:08
Colin, I honestly don’t know what you mean when you say the holistic approach, but he has definitely got some very good ideas.

An indoor pitch is another very big step forward, because the wind at Finch Farm must make it really difficult to practice sometimes.

I think Vialli, wrote a piece in The Independent years ago when he became the boss at Chelsea, saying that it was very difficult to practice certain things in England, because of the wind. Honest?

Raymond Fox
41 Posted 03/03/2016 at 20:54:34
Where’s this ’Baines called him out’ come from? Fact or fiction?

If he was freezing Baines out, why put him in the squad at all? Then he brings him for 10 mins! Not exactly freezing him out, is it?

Paul Nicholls
42 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:04:17
Harold, he must have smacked the ball so hard it did his ankle in. Love your prose though (personally I would prefer a leather on willow analogy), which has provided a touch of levity on an otherwise dreary Thursday evening.
Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:04:35
Harold, I just said that we have got to trust the manager, but I do have my doubts.

I have two reasons: Firstly, when the crowd booed at the end of the Swansea game, Leighton just carried on walking towards them clapping, as if to say I’ve had enough of this shit as well.

Secondly, when City scored their second goal in the Semi-Final the other week, I’m sure he gave Jagielka a look as if to say, "We're fucking finished here" Reason being was that Roberto had just changed our gameplan, when he swapped Kone, for Gerry, which meant we no longer had the pace to play on the counter attack.

I’m probably wrong on both counts, but I did say at the time that I expected our senior players to be knocking on the manager's door after that debacle.

James Stewart
44 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:16:32
Baines is a class above Oviedo and it's a real shame he is being hampered by niggling pain. Hope to see him back as first choice LB asap.
Peter Larkin
46 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:32:27
Simple: Baines is out of form, so he changes it. Same for Lennon and Deulofeu. No free rides – and that's the way it should be, whether you have played 100 games or 10.
Jim Jennings
47 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:48:25
Jamie, David, Michael et al,

My post at #15 was written with tongue firmly in cheek. Though judging by some of the responses, it just shows how easily a rumour becomes the truth for some.

David Greenwood
48 Posted 03/03/2016 at 21:51:23
Cheers jim.

Glad about that. Was thinking you'd gone off the deep end!

Danny Broderick
49 Posted 03/03/2016 at 22:22:44
Baines at his best was the best full back in Europe. I honestly don't think he's had a great couple of seasons though. For one thing, he has stopped crossing the ball, when previously he was creating the most assists in Europe as a marauding left back.

His set pieces have struggled to beat the first man for years too! He could well have an ankle problem. There seems to be something holding him back, when previously he had a left foot like a magic wand.

With modern surgery, hopefully they can get to the bottom of it.

Colin Glassar
50 Posted 03/03/2016 at 23:12:01
Tony, he wants to control them 24/7. What they eat, how much they sleep, their individual training programmes etc.... This is what the top European teams have been doing for years.
Frank Thomas
51 Posted 03/03/2016 at 23:24:41
Dennis (2) I totally agree with you. it's amazing Gibson is fully fit just in time for a contract renewal. Just like Kone scored a few goals to achieve his contract renewal and who can forget Fellaini the only season without injury was his last one before his contract expired so his was renewed.

So please Roberto lets call it time at the end of the season for Gibson we are awash with quality players for his position.

Kase Chow
52 Posted 03/03/2016 at 23:27:09
Baines used to be pure class.

Please get better, son!!

Laurie Hartley
53 Posted 03/03/2016 at 23:39:15
Harold # 38 - Although I have never seen Baines playing "in the flesh" I think I know what you mean by that "sound" when he strikes the ball.

I was reminiscing the other day about one of my favourite footballers – Johnny Morrissey. When I was a boy I used to stand at the wall near the clock on the Goodison Rd terraces. That was Morrisey’s patch in the second half if we won the toss.

I had a worms eye view of his great dribbling skills but I can still hear the "sound" when he used to cross the ball (with either foot) for Joe Royle.

I am a fan of both Oviedo and Galloway – I like their fighting spirit. However Leighton Baines is a level above both of them. I would like to see him back in the team playing the way we know he can.

Regarding the manager / player relationship(s) are concerned, having hit the "reset" button due to us having a new owner, I am not going there. I will wait to see what the close season brings.

As far as his Baines’ injury is concerned I really hope he doesn’t have any more surgery. They should look for a different solution.

Anthony Dwyer
54 Posted 04/03/2016 at 00:11:12
This may sound a little negative, but I'd write this season off now as far as Baines is concerned and try to get him right for next season, and possibly the Euros.

I'm sure quite a few blues will wonder why I'd care less about England in the Euros, and if I'm honest, I don't.

That said, I really admire Baines and all he's done for us, he's always given 100%, he's stayed loyal, and he deserves his shot at this competition.

I'd love to see him play and excel in the Euros before coming back to us and reminding a few short minded blues just how good he is.

Best of luck Bainesy lad.

Bill Gall
56 Posted 04/03/2016 at 03:42:53
Sorry, but I just can not accept what Martinez is saying makes any sense. (a) it is not fair for Leighton to be in pain every time he steps on the football pitch, and follows that up with saying (b) we are going to see a specialist but that should not stop him training with the group. What is the difference? Don’t they train on a football pitch?

If after recovering from the surgery and was still having niggling pain, why was he not sent back to the specialist right away, and why was the player on the bench if you were aware his ankle was still giving him a problem and by playing him you could have ended his career.

I thought that as Martinez was a qualified physiotherapist he would have been certain a player was fully fit before his was back into consideration for the first team, and not have even have him on the bench if he wasn’t.

Harold Matthews
57 Posted 04/03/2016 at 05:38:41
True Bill, this ankle business is very confusing. Is it a message for us, the opposition or Mr Hodgson?
Harold Matthews
58 Posted 04/03/2016 at 05:47:50
Paul.#41. "Leather on willow". Perfect. Couldn't think of it at the time. Drat.!
Anto Byrne
59 Posted 04/03/2016 at 06:29:55
Bucket of ice and a sponge should do the trick. The ice is for the Jim Beam and the sponge is just in case I spill any.
Richard Lyons
60 Posted 04/03/2016 at 06:30:05
Actually, I think the news on Besic is more interesting for me – really want to see this guy play regularly, I think he’s our future Vieira/Toure.
Guy Hastings
61 Posted 04/03/2016 at 06:49:34
If I were LB I'd fuck the Euros off, Hodgson would rather play Luke Shaw with a missing leg than Baines.
Andy Meighan
62 Posted 04/03/2016 at 06:54:41
I’m with Jim (#15) on this. It's common knowledge now amongst most of us that Baines absolutely lambasted Martinez in that extended team meeting and the stubborn one froze him out. That was a good few weeks back so why is it only coming to light now that Baines has an ankle problem... or have I missed something?

You could argue (WBA apart) the results have justified him not being included but, let's face it, imo we've played no-one in that period. I think most of us are happy when Baines is on the teamsheet because he has been Mr Consistency down the years.

As much as I like Galloway and Oviedo, they're not at Baines's level. No, I personally believe this runs deeper and it's probably soft lad flexing his muscles... Only what we've come to expect under him!

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 04/03/2016 at 09:40:04
Sounds good, Colin, total professionalism will do for me mate.

Contradictions though, life is full of them. Four sessions a day might be good for a kid who is learning the game, but surely even two is one two many, when you get down to the nitty gritty of the EPL.

Overtraining, or overcoahing, could be one of the main reasons we don’t seem to play for 90 minutes under Martinez, though. Who knows?

Daniel A Johnson
64 Posted 04/03/2016 at 12:00:30
Baines should write the season off and the Euros and get himself fit for next season via a strong preseason.

At his age he will aprerciate the rest and come back a stronger player.

Bobby Thomas
65 Posted 04/03/2016 at 12:07:01
This is one of the problems that arises when you give a 4-year deal to a 29-year-old left back.
James Marshall
66 Posted 04/03/2016 at 12:24:14
Bobby – why? Being 30 doesn’t matter as much these days – there are plenty of world class full backs playing in their 30s. Football has moved on in that respect.
James Marshall
67 Posted 04/03/2016 at 12:28:39
Dani Alves - 32
Phillip Lahm - 32
Bacary Sagna - 33
Ivanovic - 32
Clichy - 30
Lichsteiner - 32
Juanfran - 31
Piszczek - 30
Zabaleta - 31

Need I go on? :)

Jim Bennings
69 Posted 04/03/2016 at 13:36:06
Feel sorry for Baines really, he seems like one of the games genuine decent fella's.

He's 31 now so I'm hoping he can somehow get back to his best and maybe have another good 4 year's, whether he'll get back to the levels he was operating at between 2009-2013 is a big ask but we can only hope.

Would be sad if his twilight years were blighted by injury in the same manner of Steven Pienaar, the guy who he linked up once so well with.

Jim Bennings
70 Posted 04/03/2016 at 13:41:18

You make a good point there with the age of those fantastic fullbacks.

The only worry when you reach your early 30s is staving off injuries because you don’t get the same quick recovery .

I’d suggest to avoid what’s happened with the likes of Pienaar, Baines needs this ankle issue resolved for next season, the guy can’t start another season with this recurring issue.

Oliver Molloy
71 Posted 04/03/2016 at 21:59:14
I can’t believe Martinez is freezing Baines out and I don’t believe the reason some on here have suggested as fact (having a row with the manager).

No, Baines is and has been a little out of sorts this season, maybe it is the injury maybe not – either way he has lost his first choice place – simple.

I do expect Baines to work hard and fight to be our first choice left back, equally so,I expect the same of ALL our first team players to fight hard to be named in the starting 11.

That is the way it should be... always.

George Freeman
72 Posted 05/03/2016 at 09:06:27
Jamie @ 24
On February 2, I went to see the coach about the proposal for West Ham who were offering me a transfer until the end of the season,' Distin told L'Equipe.
'The next day, at a press conference, he said that he counted on me and that I was part of the team. Since that day I haven't been called up once.
'I have no idea why. Ask him. We have not spoken since. There are a lot of things that are lost in football, and you hope there is still a bit of respect. But okay, I've played at the top level for 20 years so I'm enjoying my family weekends. I keep my spirits up.
Harold Matthews
73 Posted 05/03/2016 at 10:03:28
Thanks George. Seems there are no grey areas with Martinez. You're either with him or against him.
Anthony Garvey
74 Posted 05/03/2016 at 10:35:37
Why is Gibson even in the squad? He should be ashamed to pick up his wages.

Come on, Martinez, grow some balls sort this out, stop your bullshit.

James Marshall
76 Posted 05/03/2016 at 10:53:18
Maybe Bainsey has an injured ankle?

Or maybe Roberto Martinez is a spiteful child cutting off his nariz to spite his cara?

Peter Roberts
78 Posted 05/03/2016 at 11:43:57
Does Roberto have a hit man who will shoot any player who dares speak the "truth" of their fallout? That they accept an injury that is there???

If baines was fit and had a fallout with thd manager he would simply say "I'm fit and available for selection, my ankle is fine" ... why wouldn't he???

Its a convenient conspiracy for the Martinez out brigade.

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