Everton refute Anichebe setback claims

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Everton have moved to defuse claims striker Victor Anichebe has suffered a serious setback in his recovery from knee ligament damage.

Last week boss David Moyes, ahead of the first game of the season against Arsenal, intimated the youngster had suffered a relapse.

Anichebe did experience some discomfort during training last week, but on Tuesday head physio Mick Rathbone said: "It is not true to say Victor has had any kind of major setback."

Rathbone added: "He has been making slower progress than we would have liked but the surgeon is pleased with the repair and these things take time. He is a young lad and we must make sure he comes back perfectly fit after such a serious injury."

The young Nigerian has been absent from the Toffees' squad since February after a horror tackle from Newcastle's Kevin Nolan caused severe damage to the striker's knee ligaments.

However, Anichebe is a considerably way behind Mikel Arteta and Ayegbeni Yakubu in the comeback race from injury. Yakubu has played and scored in a behind-closed-doors run out, and Arteta could be back within a month.

Everton are unlikely to make many changes in their side for Thursday's Europa League play-off first leg at home to Sigma Olomouc despite the 6-1 home thrashing by Arsenal on Saturday.

Sigma Olomouc manager Zdenek Psotka says he will not read anything into that heavy defeat, having seen the match first-hand from the Goodison Park directors' box.

Psotka said: "Everton are a typical British club, and last season they had some very good results. They have many good players, for example Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini, and they are very good defensively."

The Czech outfit will travel to Goodison buoyed by an emphatic 8-1 aggregate victory over Aberdeen in the second qualifying round, having recorded a 3-1 aggregate win over Iceland's Fram Reykjavik in the first stage.

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Ayegbeni Yakubu
Kevin Nolan
Mikel Arteta
Premier League
Marouane Fellaini
Tim Cahill
Victor Anichebe

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