Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes, James McCarthy, Phil Jagielka and Beni Baningime have all come through a 60-minute behind-closed-doors training game at Finch Farm on Thursday.
It’s a welcome boost for Marco Silva, who has had to deal with a number of injury and suspension concerns during the opening few weeks of his tenure at Goodison Park.
Mina hasn’t featured since the World Cup due to a foot injury and was due to return last month before suffering a setback in training. Fellow summer signing from Barcelona Gomes also hasn’t featured this campaign due to a hamstring injury but both could now be included in the senior squad for the first time.
Baningime, who is believed to have impressed Silva in his early training sessions over the summer, saw his pre-season curtailed by an ankle problem but is also now ready to return.
Meanwhile, Ireland midfielder McCarthy has been sidelined since suffering a horrific double leg break against West Brom in January. He also came through the game unscathed though I’d be surprised if he was pitched straight in against the Eagles a week on Sunday.
Club captain Phil Jagielka could also return next weekend. Jags hasn’t featured since he was red carded against Wolves on the opening day of the season. After completing his three-match ban he then suffered a knee injury.
The return of Gomes and Mina are likely to excited the fans the most, though McCarthy and Baningime will bring some welcome competition to the midfield, an area of the field where Silva has yet to really find the ideal solution.
With back-to-back league wins giving the team some welcome momentum, the return to fitness of so many key players is another timely boost with some tricky looking fixtures lurking after the international break