In an in-depth interview with the Everton website, winger Yannick Bolasie has shared his hopes for returning to football before the end of the calendar year. After sustaining a serious knee injury against Manchester United in December, Bolasie has undergone two surgeries, first to repair the meniscus and then earlier this month another that repaired his anterior cruciate ligament.
"I'm seeing the light right now. I'm in a good place with rehab. I can't actually put any time schedule down but I'm pretty confident that I'll be back before 2017 ends."
Fellow Evertonian Seamus Coleman suffered a serious injury over the weekend and is looking at a similar long-term rehabilitation, and Congolese international had some words of support for him too.
"At the moment everyone is just showing great support. We know what the club is like at Everton, we're a family club.
"The Club are being supportive with me right now, especially the manager, the staff, and I'm sure it's going to be the same outcome with him [Coleman].
"He's a strong character so I can see him coming back better."
The same would also apply to Argentine Ramiro Funes Mori, who underwent surgery yesterday to repair a meniscus tear that will keep off the pitch for a couple of months at least.
Bolasie is yet to play in a Merseyside Derby, but the weight of this weekend’s fixture is not lost on him and he is hopeful considering the Blues current run.
“It comes at a good time with the form that we’re in. Romelu Lukaku is banging in the goals - he is top scorer in the league - and he will be up for it and Ross Barkley is back in form as well.
“The team is looking great. I think this is the best time to play them.”