Tony Hibbert has declared himself fit and available to feature as part of Everton’s depleted backline against Bournemouth.
The 35-year-old defender has missed the entirety of the 2015/16 season after suffering a posterior cruciate knee ligament injury during the Toffees’ pre-season match against Arsenal in Singapore.
But, after figuring the past two Under-21s matches, and being named among the substitutes for the recent FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United, the Blues veteran believes he is ready to make a first team return.
And his availability will be a welcome boost for manager Roberto Martinez, who will be without the services of senior playing staff in Phil Jagielka, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori for the clash with the Cherries at Goodison Park.
“I have been training with the lads for probably four or five weeks now,” Hibbert told evertontv.
“I’ve had two reserve [Under-21] games, so I’m hopefully I’m thereabouts now.
“Now I feel good. Hopefully now I’ve got a benchmark and the minutes under my belt to push for a first team place.
“I like to be in and around the place so it’s entirely up to the manager how he wants to work it.
“Numbers-wise we were struggling for defenders [for the FA Cup semi-final]. The manager asked me to be on the bench and I will do anything for this club. I was happy to put myself forward.”
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