Martinez calms Mirallas ankle injury fears

Kevin Mirallas will miss Everton's Premier League clash with Southampton on Saturday, but his ankle injury is not as bad as first feared.

The Belgium international was carried from the pitch on a stretcher during Everton's 3-1 win over QPR at Goodison Park on Monday and there were concerns he could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

However, after receiving the results of scans, manager Roberto Martinez does not expect the winger to miss too much action during a busy end to December.

"We have great news [on Mirallas]. As you know we were very, very worried after the game because it was an action where you feel the ankle has been damaged," Martinez said. 

"The damage is the least it could be, it's an external ligament in his ankle. The way he is as a boy, he's a quick healer so I don't expect him to miss too much time.

"Obviously the game this weekend is a bit too soon but I don't expect him to miss too many fixtures over the Christmas period, which is fantastic news."

Martinez, who will give late checks to midfield duo Darron Gibson and James McCarthy before the trip to the south coast, is also delighted to have tied forward Steven Naismith to a new deal.

Naismith agreed a three-year contract extension at Goodison Park on Wednesday and Martinez believes the Scotland international is currently playing the best football of his career.

"It's really good news," added the Everton boss. "Steven Naismith I truly believe he is in the best moment of his career.

"I think he's got a lot of years of that level in front of him, he's going to get better with games because he's a player that relies on his intelligence.

"The way he's been performing with us over the last two seasons is very impressive. For him to extend his stay is incredible news for us, I look forward to continue working him."