Everton boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed Marouane Fellaini missed the 2-1 friendly win over Betis due to an infected cut, but should be fit for the start of the season.
The Belgian midfielder had started five of Everton’s six pre-season games this summer but was left out of the squad for their final friendly fixture before the Premier League campaign kicks off, which the Goodison Park outfit won after goals from Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas.
The decision fuelled speculation that Fellaini could be set for a move to Manchester United, after Goal revealed David Moyes has turned his attention to his former Toffees player after failing to sign Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas.
But Martinez has insisted that Fellaini would have played were it not for an infection and he should feature against Norwich on August 17, providing he returns from international duty unscathed.
"Marouane would have been available if it was a competitive game," he told the club’s official website.
"He picked up a cut on the US tour. Bearing in mind he has to join the Belgium squad now - and in two days the infection will clear. I didn't want to risk hurting him."
The former Wigan boss also provided an update on Darron Gibson, who was forced off just before half-time with a knee problem.
"Darron is the only negative,” Martinez added. "We have been quite fortunate throughout pre-season not to pick up knocks and bruises, but in the warm-up he opened his knee slightly, so he's got a grade one ligament problem.
"We'll have a clearer idea of it in the next 48 hours."