Everton monitoring Baines fitness

David Moyes has said he will closely watch the fitness of Everton and England left-back Leighton Baines after revealing that the defender is suffering from an ankle injury, the BBC has reported.

Baines scored a penalty as Everton avoided an FA Cup upset at League One Cheltenham Town on Monday evening, the Premier League side running out 5-1 victors. The game’s other goals came from Nikica Jelavic, Leon Osman, Seamus Coleman and Marouane Fellaini, with Russell Penn replying for the home side.

Having converted from 12 yards after Fellaini was fouled, Baines was substituted with around an hour played, shortly after right-back Coleman scored Everton’s fourth goal of the contest. Winger Magaye Gueye came on in place of Baines, with Bryan Oviedo dropping into the defence.

Moyes said after the match that he was aware of Baines’ minor injury before kick-off, but wanted to include the former Wigan Athletic player to ensure Everton made smooth progress to the next round. The manager added: “Leighton has got a bad ankle problem which I need to watch and be careful with that. I felt we needed him because we have to respect the players at this level.

Baines’ penalty was his second goal in as many games and his fourth club goal of the season after scoring a spectacular free-kick against Newcastle United in Everton’s last league outing. Baines has also this season opened his international account, scoring for England in September’s 5-0 victory over Moldova.

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