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Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 16:05 UK

Arteta makes first-team comeback

Mikel Arteta
Arteta had been on the sidelines since April

Everton's Mikel Arteta is hoping to be fit for the start of the season after returning to competitive action against Cambridge United on Saturday.

The 26-year-old midfielder played 15 minutes in the 4-2 defeat, his first appearance since undergoing surgery to cure a long-standing abdominal problem.

"It's been a long time and I'm getting fit," Arteta told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"Hopefully I can start getting some games and start getting as ready as possible for the start of the League."

The Basque playmaker struggled with the injury throughout the course of last season.

Everton decided to send him for surgery before the end of the last campaign in an attempt to have the problem rectified in time for their forthcoming Premier League campaign.

Even when it's a friendly nobody likes to lose and to concede four goals like that is something we can't afford to do even if it is a friendly

Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta

The Spaniard added he was unhappy with Everton's performance as they were beaten by two goals at the Abbey Stadium.

"Even when it's a friendly nobody likes to lose and to concede four goals like that is something we can't afford to do even if it is a friendly."

Former Barcelona youngster Arteta praised Everton's travelling support at Cambridge.

"Anywhere we go we know that we're going to have them supporting the team.

"It's very nice and sorry to them because what they have seen here isn't the best of Everton."


see also
Arteta & Cahill agree new deals
29 Jun 07 |  Everton


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