Leon Osman has admitted that his current foot injury is taking longer than he had hoped to heal.
The Everton midfielder has been sidelined for the last fortnight with his last appearance being the draw with Wolves.
Osman said:"To be injured and know I could have been out there with the captain's armband still was tough.
"However, being out the team through injury is disappointment enough so I have to keep my head down, work hard and hopefully return quickly.
"It's a slow recovery because it's a bone that needs to heal itself. It means I have to let nature take its course. I'm working on my fitness as best I can so, as soon as the bone has healed, I'll be back.
"I've found it hard to be in and around the place because the best you can do is gee the lads up and give them a pat on the back.
"We are all the type of players here who want to be out there on the pitch.
"We want to not only be competing for places in the team but also competing in the cup games and climbing up the league. It's frustrating not being able to be involved."