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Tim Howard's recovery 'ahead of schedule' - but should he come back into the team?

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The veteran 'keeper could be back playing within a month

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has given a positive update on Tim Howard's recovery from injury and the 'keeper could be fit within the next four weeks.

The American suffered a calf injury against Stoke at Goodison Park on Boxing Day and had to be substituted at half time.

The initial timescale of recovery was set at two months, something that caused dismay among the supporters as that meant Joel Robles was set for an extended spell between the sticks.

However, after a few nervy early displays the Spaniard has improved and looked - dare I say it - an assured presence in goal in recent games.

Prior to his injury Howard's role as No.1 was being questioned after a number of errors of judgement. With the club unlikely to bring in a new 'keeper before Monday's deadline it looks like a straight fight between Howard and Joel for first-choice goalkeeping spot at Goodison between now and the rest of the season.

When Howard does return to fitness, should he come straight into the team? Have your say below.

Martinez said:

"Tim is progressing really well, better than any medical advice would think.

"We are still working within those six to eight weeks since the injury happened but he is progressing extremely well and probably a little bit ahead of what we predicted.

"We are now going to carry on treating him based on how he feels each day."