Extra care being taken over Pienaar's recovery

by | 21/10/2015  24 Comments  [Jump to last]
Roberto Martinez says that Everton have been handling Steven Pienaar's rehabilitation from his latest injury setback with extra caution as the South African makes his latest bid to return to fitness.

One of the Blues' most effective players in years gone by, particularly in partnership with Leighton Baines down the left flank, the South African has made just 22 Premier League starts since the beginning of 2013-14 thanks to a succession of niggling injuries.

His last appearance came as a first-half substitute for Leon Osman in the 1-1 draw with Swansea last April but he suffered a relapse and did not feature for Everton in any capacity until pre-season where he suffered a fresh hamstring problem.

The Liverpool Echo report that the 33-year-old considered retirement in the spring but his determination to have one last go at putting together a run in the Blues' first team has kept him in the gym and has culminated thus far in a run-out for the Under-21s in their match against Schalke 04 last night.

That he only played the first half while Tom Cleverley took the next step in his own recovery with a 60-minute appearance is illustrative of the patient approach the club's medical staff are taking with Pienaar's recovery programme.

"We are being extra cautious with his recovery and giving him extra time to give him a good period of adaptation," Martinez said last night. We will have to give him enough time to get back to match fitness.

But, as we know, Stevie is a unique footballer within our squad and we need to get him fit because the margin we can improve, with him in the squad, is huge.

So we are really looking forward to him having a good exercise tonight and we will build it up slowly.

"[H]e is a very, very fit boy naturally but he has been very unfortunate with injuries and that effects the bio-mechanics of your body at times and that desire to be back on the pitch can bring you set-backs.

So, sometimes you need to be patient, trust the medical people around you but also be lucky with what is ahead of you.  

Reader Comments (24)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 21/10/2015 at 19:01:30
It would be great to have him back but is his body really up for it? Only time will tell...
Minik Hansen
2 Posted 21/10/2015 at 19:01:33
I bet he will step up in his last period with us, he must be hungry and eager to hit the ground running!
Frank Crewe
3 Posted 21/10/2015 at 19:07:30
He'll get fit just in time to retire.
Bobby Thomas
4 Posted 21/10/2015 at 20:02:54
He needed to get through pre-season. He nearly did but the hamstring was a real kick in the balls.

Starting matches isn't really an option anymore. It's nearly November already. If he can get a level of fitness and not pick up any more injuries, he can be a decent option coming off the bench from Xmas/New Year onwards, maybe. But it's a long shot.

I hope something like that comes off for him, he deserves to go out playing. An excellent, underrated footballer.

Mike Oates
5 Posted 21/10/2015 at 20:38:22
He's never been quick of movement but his speed of thought in seeing a pass, seeing space and most notably seeing a tackle coming in and often riding it, is naturally slowing down. I fear that he can no longer ride tackles, and even if we get him fit he'll soon be clobbered again.

Against Stoke in Singapore he was at the end of some real vicious challenges, got no protection at all and was finally knobbled too much and we haven't seen him since. It will happen again.

Jimmy-Ã…ge Sørheim
6 Posted 21/10/2015 at 20:58:11
Pienaar, Gibson and Hibbert are so injury prone it no longer makes any sense to waste first team wages on them.

Martinez needs to be ruthless going forward, nothing dream and hope that they will be fit.

Even if any of these 3 are back injury free I just can not see them being good enough to take Everton upwards from here.

Trevor Lynes
7 Posted 21/10/2015 at 21:26:44
Yes, it is the biggest problem for players who dribble and carry the ball. He was the most fouled player in the whole division and now he is paying for all the attention opposing defenders have given him. We have lost virtually all our threat down the left flank as Baines has lost his best foil.

Not many fans have given credit to not only Pienaar but Distin too who always covered for Baines sorties forward. Cover at top level has been a goal for our coaches to develop and all that has been produced are defenders. Surely since Pienaar's injury his replacement should have been a priority as obviously his loss has had a detrimental affect on Baines and the side as a whole. If we still possessed the threat provided when Pienaar and Baines were playing together I am absolutely certain that Lukaku would have scored more goals.

I want to see Baines take over the Barry role and get back to his creative best. We only need one defensive midfielder otherwise it detracts from our goal threat especially in the coming home games against lesser sides than we have met so far.

Anthony Lamb
8 Posted 21/10/2015 at 23:32:00
"Because the margin we can improve with him in the squad is huge." Is this for real? It is this kind of hyperbole that Mr Martinez is often prone to that can make him at times difficult to take seriously. I wonder how he could specify in what way Pienaar's return to full competitive fitness would ensure that the improvement in the squad would be "huge"?

All things considered with Pienaar's overall situation, his returning to full competitive fitness would itself appear to be questionable. Even if such a return were the case, to claim that it would be a "huge" improvement to the squad seems at the very least to be optimistic. At a stretch it may give a manager minimal options in very limited circumstances. To claim that a return would make a "huge" difference makes one wonder as to the manager's professional judgement and grip on reality.
Nick Entwistle
9 Posted 22/10/2015 at 00:51:54
Thanks for the memories.

A brilliant signing, twice, but he should go take it easy in the States.

James Stewart
10 Posted 22/10/2015 at 01:06:14
Agree with the above. Thanks for the memories. A fantastic and underrated little player but sadly he is nowhere near his best anymore, even before the last injury he looked a shadow of his former self.

Time for us to move on, we don't have the budget to carry passengers or be sentimental about high earners.

Eddie Dunn
12 Posted 22/10/2015 at 08:15:57
He is physically slight and often comes out of challenges in second place, and this could well be the reason for his decision to become a serial diver.

It has been a long time since he contributed to the team but he does possess some special talent, and it would be a bonus if he got back to match fitness.

We really do have more of our fair share of guys that hardly ever stay fit for more than a few weeks.

Paul Cherrington
13 Posted 22/10/2015 at 09:22:39
He has been a great player for us and should have a place in every Evertonians' hearts. But I think the time has come for him to move on with our warmest regards. We have stuck by him long enough now and shown some loyalty for his services but he really is a passenger these days.
Spencer Ramsay
14 Posted 22/10/2015 at 11:12:59
Pienaar of 5 years or so ago would have fit perfectly into the current system on the left of the three behind Rom. He would have been able to slip some great passes into Rom too.

It's such a shame he'll never be quite there again. Such a great little underrated player & his link-up play with Baines was virtually telepathic! In the snippets where he did play in the last 2 years, a couple of times really showed what we were missing.

I really hoped he'd come back through this season before the hammy crocked him again. I hope to see him get a run out before Xmas.

Jim Lloyd
15 Posted 22/10/2015 at 11:44:56
I think we'll have to wait and see. Even with the so called "hyperbole"
we have greatly missed him and Bainsey down the left. I wonder if it's too late for him as well but wait and see. I don't want to see him just fade away after what he's done for us.

It might be that the medical and coaching staff see him capable of playing a full 90 mins; if so, what a fantastic bonus for us. If he can come on as sub for the last half hour or so of a match, that would be a useful addition to our squad.

Whatever happens, I think he has been excellent (and maybe still will be) for us.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 22/10/2015 at 12:10:06
If he can get back to match fitness, I think there is a case for him to start games and get us attacking from the off, instead of the snail-pace way we begin games.

Let him play for an hour or so then bring Deulofeu on, or Mirallas to finish the match. It would be preferable to play two wingers, especially at home, but Bobby doesn't do that.

Tony J Williams
18 Posted 22/10/2015 at 12:31:30
Please get fully fit, by fuck we need his vision on the pitch.

Here is a player who actually moves and wants the ball instead of the fucking statues we have at the moment.

Sick and tired (as must be the fans around me) of screaming "Fucking move you gang of lazy twats!!!"

Bloody hell! that was a lot of swearing for one post.

Graham Mockford
19 Posted 22/10/2015 at 13:09:54

I agree. Although not a flying winger, the most effective wide player since Trevor Steven.

But the player we are missing most is Leighton. Galloway has been great and has a real future but Leighton has been our most effective attacking player for the last five years. We need him back.

David Connor
20 Posted 22/10/2015 at 15:39:16
I almost forgot about him. He's done jack shit since he came back due to injury. Let the fella go next season along with Gibson, Hibbert, Osman and maybe Kone. They're a huge drain on our financial resources for the return they give us. Get rid, replace and move on, for god's sake.

We need seriously to look at replacing Tim Howard; his best days are well and truly behind him. These players will hold us back if we keep them next season... They've got to go... please!

Clive Rogers
21 Posted 22/10/2015 at 17:26:39
As he has not started a single league game this season or last, it's a question of whether he can get back to the same level of fitness, especially if he picks up more injuries trying to get there.
Eddie Dunn
22 Posted 22/10/2015 at 19:13:03
Roberto has off-loaded a few from our wage bill, but he needs to continue as we have far too many has-beens on the books. They have all been well paid for their services, so we don't need to feel any compassion for these guys. Football is a cut-throat business, and Martinez is a ruthless individual, who, I am sure will be planning the departure of several players this season.

McGeady, Hibbert, Pienaar, Osman and Gibson will surely be off soon. If we are serious about progressing, they should be followed by Howard, Naismith and Mirallas.

Howard is not going to get any better, Naismith is a real trier, but not quite good enough, and Kevin will never be consistent.

I look at the lads playing for West Ham, Palace and Leicester, running at pace, actually shooting at goal, moving off the ball! We need to wake-up and switch on, this league is all about pace and movement, and we look like a bunch of OAPs playing over-50s' walking football.

John Daley
23 Posted 23/10/2015 at 00:09:20
Pienaar is a "unique footballer within our squad"

Barkley is a "unique talent" with "unique bravery on the ball" and "from a physical point of view, he's someone quite unique".

Deulofeu is another "unique talent".

Mirallas is a "unique goal scoring threat".

Lukaku is a player with "unique potential".

Stones also possesses "unique potential".

McGeady, if he can overcome his hamstring problems, "is quite unique".

So many gifted individuals blessed with extraordinary abilities. Martinez must feel like fucking Professor X, minus the slaphead and spinal problems, when he walks into that dressing room.

NB: If anyone is interested Amazon currently has a fantastic 'Sportagraphs Roberto Martinez Signed A4 FRAMED Photo Mount Autograph Display & COA'

Apparently makes a 'PERFECT UNIQUE GIFT' and comes with 'a Certificate of Authenticity that carries a unique identification hologram'.

Paul Cherrington
25 Posted 23/10/2015 at 09:16:41
I actually think the way he always focuses on individual talents illustrates why Roberto can't seem to get us playing as a team. He seems to look at what people do as an individual rather than how they fit together as one whole effectively.

And we assume he's talking about football &mdash with his fondness for going off at tangents, the unique talents he says they all have could be at scrabble or cave diving!

Anthony Dwyer
26 Posted 23/10/2015 at 10:01:00
Jimmy (#6), Spot on mate. We could add others to that list an be really ruthless, freeing up millions of pounds per season.

You mentioned Pienaar, Hibbert and Gibson, I'd add Osman, Oviedo and McGeady to that list too. All them players' wages would allow us to either bring in a couple or really good frees or loan players per season.

Andy Meighan
28 Posted 23/10/2015 at 21:26:36
I can only echo what nearly everyone else has posted. Great player in his pomp but, sorry, he's finished. When is Martinez going to realise that Everton isn't a convalescent home but a football club? I mean Hibbo, Gibbo (didn't mean that) and Pieno (...sorry guys). The likes of these are a drain on the club's resources

I loved Pienaar but I'd actually forgotten about him. We were on our way to work in the car a few days back and Martinez was waxing lyrical about Pienaar when the 2 reds in the car said, "Fuckin' hell! Is he still alive?" Sums us up really.

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