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Published: 12:32 | 17/12/15

McCarthy to undergo fitness test


James McCarthy remains a slight doubt for Everton ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against Norwich.

The Republic of Ireland international has missed the last two matches with a hip injury sustained at Bournemouth and he will undergo a fitness test on Friday to determine whether he will be available for trip to Carrow Road.

"James McCarthy will have a late fitness test to see if he can be in the squad travelling to Norwich," manager Roberto Martinez told reporters on Thursday.

"Apart from that, there is nothing different. From the squad that we had in the last game against Crystal Palace, everyone is fit and available."

Phil Jagielka will definitely miss the game due to a knee problem but the manager is hopeful that he will be in a position to return over the Christmas and New Year period.

"Phil had very good news from the specialist. We are well on track and are probably ahead of what we were expecting. We are going into the final 15 working days before he can join the group," he said.

"Realistically we are talking about that group of fixtures after Boxing Day. Stoke or Spurs at home - that week is a realistic target for Phil to come back."

Meanwhile, Leighton Baines is likely to have to make do with a place on the bench with Martinez wary about rushing him back into the starting line-up.

"After the Middlesbrough game, he [Baines] took a bit of a knock and it took him 24 hours to get back to normal. But following the game against Crystal Palace, he had no reaction," he said.

"When a player is out for such a long period like Leighton was, you can’t just expect to him to be perfect for 90 minutes.

"He’s getting close to challenge for a start but at the moment his contribution has to be measured from a medical point of view."

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