Baines hoping for pre-season return

Everton defender Leighton Baines is targeting a return during pre-season training after undergoing ankle surgery.

Leighton Baines hopes his decision to undergo surgery before the end of the Premier League campaign could see him back in time for Everton's pre-season training.

The England international had the ankle operation earlier this month after limping off during their 2-0 defeat to Sunderland at Goodison Park.

Baines has also struggled with thigh and knee injuries in a frustrating campaign, but he hopes a close-season of rehabilitation can give him a chance of returning before August.

"I'm progressing day by day but I'm still wearing the boot so I can't do much," the defender told Everton's official website.

"I'm just working on getting the ankle moving again and getting the swelling down.

"It was the right time to get the operation done because, if I had waited until the end of the season, I would have been touch-and-go for the start of the [new] season.

"It gives me time to get the things done during the summer to get up to speed and hopefully join in with the lads towards the end of pre-season."