Steven Pienaar reveals despair over injury jinx: 'I was heartbroken but I pushed myself to try and get back as quick as I could' 

  • Steven Pienaar completed his first full 90 minutes for nine months
  • Pienarr was captain for Thursday's Europa League tie against Krasnodar
  • The South African international could feature against QPR on Monday
  • Pienarr injured his quad in Everton's first home game of the season
  • Bryan Oviedo, Gareth Barry, Arouna Kone and Antolin Alcaraz have all recently returned from injury 
  • John Stones is out until December with ankle ligament damage 

Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar has admitted being left in despair after a series of injuries left him 'heartbroken' and wondering if he could trust his body again.

Pienaar completed his first full 90 minutes for nine months when he was made captain for Thursday's Europa League tie against Krasnodar and could be involved again against QPR on Monday.

The South African international has endured a stop-start season injuring his quad ten minutes into the club's first home game of the season and against Arsenal and attempting some aborted comebacks before finally getting through the game pain-free in midweek.

Steven Pienaar completed his first full 90 minutes for nine months against Krasnodar on Thursday 

Steven Pienaar completed his first full 90 minutes for nine months against Krasnodar on Thursday 

Pienaar does not hold back from the physical exchanges as he puts in a strong tackle on Yuri Gazinski 

Pienaar does not hold back from the physical exchanges as he puts in a strong tackle on Yuri Gazinski 

Arouna Kone (left) was another Everton player to make his return from injury against Krasnodar

Arouna Kone (left) was another Everton player to make his return from injury against Krasnodar

'It's been a really hard campaign with a lot of muscle injuries,' admitted the 32-year-old who is in his second spell at Goodison Park after playing for Spurs in between.

'Now I want to manage a few games here and there to get back to full fitness. It had been a long time since I played 90 minutes so I was just happy to get through the whole game.

'During the pre-season I worked really hard to get my knee strong (he missed two months of 2013/14). I thought I was getting back into things again but then against Arsenal I got injured and was out for nearly six weeks.

'I was heartbroken but I pushed myself to try and get back as quick as I could. I broke down again but I've just got to keep on going. Hopefully I can push on and try and get match fitness again. I have to take it day by day.'

Bryan Oviedo has returned from injury...
....as has Antolin Alcaraz

Bryan Oviedo (left) and Antolin Alcaraz have both recently returned from injury to bolster Everton's squad 

Pienaar has been one of a lengthy casualty list at Everton which explains why manager Roberto Martinez's talented squad are only mid-table in the Premier League though they have reached the knockout stages in Europe.

Bryan Oviedo, Gareth Barry, Arouna Kone and Antolin Alcaraz have only just returned from injuries while James McCarthy and Steven Naismith are doubts for Monday and England under-21 defender John Stones is currently out of action with ankle ligament damage.

Pienaar admits it is sometimes hard for him psychologically to push his body because of the fear of breaking down again.

'There are days when I feel like if I do push myself I might hurting something again,' he says.

John Stones is currently out of action after he suffered ankle ligament damage against Manchester United 

John Stones is currently out of action after he suffered ankle ligament damage against Manchester United 

'The medical staff have been very careful and helped me in a way I can stay fit. It's been three weeks now that I haven't complained so it's going well!'

Pienaar's approach after his injury problems is to enjoy training. Even tricking team-mates isn't off limits with defender Tyias Browning saying: 'You should have seen the nutmeg he did on me the other day!'

Pienaar, confirms it: 'There are a few that I have, not only him. For me it's important to go out on the training ground with a smile and be free.

'We want to enjoy ourselves in training. You have to show that you're ready to play.'

Pienaar in action Tottenham in 2011 during his spell at the club before heading back to Goodison Park 

Pienaar in action Tottenham in 2011 during his spell at the club before heading back to Goodison Park 

With European action now parked until spring, Martinez will be looking for an improvement in Everton's league form, starting with Rangers who are managed by Pienaar's old boss at Spurs Harry Redknapp.

The spotlight will be again on Ross Barkley after he was booked for simulation against Manchester City last weekend despite contact being made by Frank Lampard.

It followed allegations last month that he tried to con referee Mark Clattenburg during the Everton-West Ham game by vaulting over Kevin Nolan.

Pienaar (left) shoots past David De Gea during Everton's incredible 4-4 draw with United in 2012 

Pienaar (left) shoots past David De Gea during Everton's incredible 4-4 draw with United in 2012 

Martinez has repeatedly insisted his young England player is not a cheat and tries to evade tackles to prevent himself from being injured.

'The booking he got against Manchester City is an action that makes me think that referees are now going into games thinking certain things about Ross. That is wrong and it's playing on my mind,' said Martinez.

'It's a worry. It was highlighted that Ross went down easily against West Ham a few weeks ago when he was expecting contact from a challenge and he tried to get out of the way.

Ross Barkley (right) was wrongly booked for diving on Saturday after being brought down by Frank Lampard

Ross Barkley (right) was wrongly booked for diving on Saturday after being brought down by Frank Lampard

Barkley (bottom) believes he is gaining a negative reputation after an incident against West Ham in November

Barkley (bottom) believes he is gaining a negative reputation after an incident against West Ham in November

'The referee gave a free-kick, but Ross wasn't looking for it. Take a look at it again. Ross just gets up.

'Ross is a player that has to take a lot of strong challenges during a game. It is natural that he tries to avoid being hurt by them.'

 

Advertisement

Steven Pienaar reveals despair over injury jinx: 'I was heartbroken but I pushed myself to try and get back as quick as I could' 

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.