Moyes to protect striker

Fit-again youngster won't be rushed back

Vaughan won't be rushed back

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Everton manager David Moyes has decided not to rush James Vaughan back into action too soon between now and the end of the season.

Vaughan, who underwent an operation to resolve a cartilage problem two weeks ago, has missed The Toffees' last nine games due to injury.

However, the 19-year-old is fit again and knocking on Moyes' first-team door, although the former Preston boss is in no rush to blood Vaughan back into his side.

With injury a recurring problem for the Birmingham-born striker, Moyes has even hinted Vaughan may not see first-team action again this season, just to err on the side of caution.

"He is quite a tough boy mentally but this hasn't been a bad knee operation," Moyes told the Liverpool Echo. "It's just been a little procedure to cure his cartilage.

History

"Because of his history, he's going to have a bit longer time to recover. Let's be fair, with only six weeks of the season to go, it would have been quite tight for him to get back anyway.

"But we need to make sure that we look after him correctly. I have always known that will be the case. I said a couple of years ago when he had that first injury, we needed to watch him.

"He missed a lot of his development period and that for me is the only real disappointment as he would have helped us just now.

"His enthusiasm would have played a big part for us.

"We will miss him and we can't just be relying on Yak. The goals have got to come from other areas, not just the forwards."