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Reliable journalist: Everton defender returns to face Hull, midfielder still injured

By Will Butcher 

Leighton Baines has returned from injury to provide Everton with a huge defensive boost against Hull after an injury scare against West Brom.

Baines, 32, was taken off at half-time against the Baggies last time out after complaining of a back problem, as the Toffees went on to win 3-0 against Tony Pulis’ side at Goodison Park.

However, Times correspondent Paul Joyce revealed on his personal Twitter account that Baines will be fit to face Hull, but Irish ace James McCarthy is still sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Ireland international McCarthy, who has been called up to Martin O’Neill’s national side for fixtures at the end of the month, suffered a fresh hamstring injury that saw him miss Saturday’s win against West Brom.

That injury is set to keep the former Wigan man on the sidelines, as he looks to recover ahead of Ireland’s fixtures against Wales and Iceland.

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The Toffees will be hoping for a better result than last time out against Hull, as they stuttered to a 2-2 draw against the Tigers.

A win for Koeman and the rest of his side could see Everton move closer to the Premier League’s top six, if Manchester United drop points against Middlesbrough on Sunday.

In other Everton news, it would be foolish for Romelu Lukaku to join this club.

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