Everton boss Moyes praises captain Neville after injury lay-off

On the eve of his 500th Premier League game, the 35-year-old makes a fast return to action following a knee problem and his manager says that the desire to play keeps him going
Everton boss David Moyes has praised the work ethic of his captain Phil Neville as the defender nears his 500th Premier League game.

The former England international joined the Toffees from Manchester United in 2005 but a spell on the sidelines with a knee problem has delayed his season for Moyes' high flying team.

However, having come back into the team, he is set to become only the seventh player in history to make his 500th Premier League appearance.

"People would be amazed by the amount of work and conditioning Phil has put in to get himself right," Moyes told reporters.

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"He continually works hard. He is in every morning at 08.30, he doesn't leave until late. The rehabilitation work he puts himself through — never at any stage does he complain.

"He just continually pushed himself to try and get back. The biggest impact that it should have on everyone is the manner of what he has done.

The 35-year-old returned to the first team in the Merseysiders 2-1 win over West Ham and his manager believes it is testament to his character and desire to return following an injury that should have kept him out for eight weeks.

"They might not say it but I think they would all have to have admiration for how he continually prepares himself and the way he goes about playing," he continued.

"It has helped him recover from this injury. We will have to look after him. He has had a bit of cartilage taken away, so we will have to be careful that it is not bone on bone in his knee. I might need to try to calm him down a bit!"