April 29 (Reuters) - Everton are hopeful defender Phil Jagielka will be fit to face Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday, having missed the last 11 matches with a hamstring injury.
Jagielka, 31, has not played since the end of February but manager Roberto Martinez said he expected his captain to be in the squad for their penultimate match of the season.
"Phil has done really well in his programme and has developed strength in his muscles," the Spaniard told the club website (www.evertonfc.com).
"He looks completely regenerated and is desperate to be available.
"It will be a late call whether he is available or not but I would be surprised if he doesn't make the squad for Saturday."
Jagielka's return will also be a boost for England manager Roy Hodgson ahead of the World Cup, which gets underway in Brazil in June.
Martinez said fellow centre back Sylvain Distin, who missed the 2-0 defeat by Southampton, is rated a "50-50" chance of returning against title chasing City, while left back Leighton Baines is expected to be fit after coming off late against the Saints with a sore knee.
Everton are fifth with 69 points, four behind Arsenal in the race for England's final Champions League qualification spot. (Reporting by Josh Reich. Editing by Patrick Johnston)
- Sports & Recreation
- Phil Jagielka
- Manchester City
- Premier League
- Roberto Martinez