JACK RODWELL has displayed his remarkable powers of recovery once again by edging his way into contention for Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa.
Fears had grown that the England U-21 midfielder’s season was over after he suffered an ankle injury against Fulham two weeks ago.
Rodwell was sent to hospital for scans with concerns he may have suffered a fracture, but he appears to have shrugged off the problem enough to suggest David Moyes will have another much-needed option ahead of the Midlanders’ visit.
The 20-year-old has already bounced back from one serious ankle injury this campaign, when he returned to action in November three weeks ahead of schedule, following the ligament damage he sustained against Aston Villa in August.
Moyes, who is still without Louis Saha, Mikel Arteta, Maroaune Fellaini and Jose Baxter, is also hoping for good news on the injured knee that caused Seamus Coleman to miss the Republic of Ireland’s Europa 2012 qualifier against Macedonia.
Meanwhile, skipper Phil Neville admits he harboured genuine fears about relegation earlier in the Toffees’ season.
The Blues endured a difficult start to the season and were bottom of the league in September having taken just three points from their first six games.
And Neville admitted it was difficult not to be worried about the club’s plight.
He said: “We were always confident [of getting out of trouble] but the way the season was going it was difficult to avoid that nagging doubt that ‘hang on a minute, this could be one of those crazy seasons’.
“We weren’t playing well, we didn’t seem to be getting better and we couldn’t score
goals. But when people started to question the spirit - which is what this club is based on - it hurt a lot of people and we knew we needed to get ourselves out of trouble.
“We have bounced back and shown our true spirit, which - even if I’m not here or David Moyes isn’t here - will always be the foundation of this football club.”
“He (Moyes) is the catalyst, the engine that drives everybody forward, and he is the one who gets the players motivated when they’re down .
“When we lost against Bolton recently, there was only one man who could get us back up again and that was the gaffer.
“He has an unbelievable drive, work ethic and will to succeed – he is a fantastic manager who wants to bring success to Everton.”