Everton defender Leighton Baines has backed Bryan Oviedo to bounce back from injury and star next season.
Costa Rica international Oviedo, who suffered a double leg break in January, failed to recover in time for the FIFA World Cup and missed out on selection in his nation's provisional squad.
Baines, 29, believes Oviedo can play a major role for Everton as they juggle domestic and UEFA Europa League duties next season.
"The priority now will be for him to get ready for next season because he'll be needed," England international Baines told the Liverpool Echo.
"We'll need everyone for what's going to be a big season for us.
"He'll be disappointed but, also in the position he was in, he'll have been prepared for that as well.
"He was always fighting against the odds.
"Now, as hard as it will be for him, he may have that bit of clarity in his mind. He can slow down a little bit and not push himself."
Baines said Oviedo was a popular figure in the dressing room and his response to the injury showed how courageous the 24-year-old was.
"Everyone is disappointed for Bryan because he's a great lad and he's not quite going to make it," Baines said.
"It's not for the want of trying though that's for sure. The strength of will and courage he's shown in striving to get back in time has been top class."
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