England left-back has handed Everton a boost with a return to training, after missing the first few months of the season.
The experienced full-back has returned to training faster than expected, which is a boost for the Toffees who have been on a poor run of form in recent weeks.
Baines had an operation on an ankle injury in August, which was his second surgery on the same ankle injury. Baines could now be closing on a return to the Toffees first team.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez told the clubs official website: “It is a big boost,”
“To have the opportunity to Leighton back from a long spell out has been great. For him to join the group this week, earlier than we expected is a really positive sign.
“Now we need to see how quickly he can get back to full fitness and how quickly he can be involved in the squad for selection.”
Youngster Brendan Galloway has been an able deputy for Baines during his absence this season, but the England international’s threat from set-pieces and marauding runs have been important to the Toffees success in recent seasons.
Baines has produced more goals and assists than any defenders in the Premier League in the last three seasons.
Will Leighton Baines return to the team help improve Everton’s form?