Pienaar to return to Everton training

Roberto Martinez says Everton's Steven Pienaar is nearing a comeback from injury and is to return to training next week.

Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar is to return to training on Monday, manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed.

The South African has been out of action since December because of a knee injury and has made just 10 appearances all season.

"We had very good news on Steven," Martinez told Evertontv. 

"He's going to join the group on Monday and we'll take it from that point on, making sure that slowly but surely we give him the right path to being fully fit and being able to enjoy his football again. 

"We've missed Stevie massively throughout this season and it's important we'll be able to see him on a football pitch before the season ends."

The Spaniard also gave positive updates on the progress made by Kevin Mirallas, Bryan Oviedo and Tony Hibbert.

Mirallas has been out with a leg problem, Oviedo has a hamstring issue and Hibbert has a knee injury.

Martinez added: "The international break is always important for the injured players because you can really focus on their needs and it gives them time to set individual targets.

"Kevin Mirallas has improved immensely over the past couple of days, Bryan Oviedo is steadily getting a lot stronger and Tony Hibbert is very close to joining the group as well."