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Stones and Howard ready for Everton return

Football Soccer - Newcastle United v Everton - Barclays Premier League - St James' Park - 26/12/15 Everton's John Stones and Tim Howard celebrate at the end of the match Reuters / Russell Cheyne Livepic/Files
Football Soccer - Newcastle United v Everton - Barclays Premier League - St James' Park - 26/12/15Everton's John Stones and Tim Howard celebrate at the end of the matchReuters / Russell CheyneLivepic/Files

REUTERS - Everton's John Stones and Tim Howard are on the verge of returning from injury and are in contention for Saturday's Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion, manager Roberto Martinez said.

Defender Stones and goalkeeper Howard, with hamstring and knee injury respectively, were forced to sit out thumping league victories over Newcastle United and Stoke City.

"John had a really good feeling after his work and we are hoping that he can join the group this week leading up to the West Brom game," Martinez told the club's website (www.evertonfc.com).

"Howard is very similar. He had a very good session on a one-to-one basis. Hopefully they will be available for the West Brom game, if not at the maximum Bournemouth."

Martinez said combative midfielder Muhamed Besic is not expected to be fit for the visit of West Brom as he continues to recover from the hamstring problem which has kept him out since the loss to Swansea City last month.

(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Justin Palmer)

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