Andre Gomes returned to Everton training on Tuesday, just 86 days after his ankle fracture suffered against Tottenham.
The Portugal midfielder took part in what the club say was “small sections” of the first-team session in what is likely to be a staggered return to full training.
That the 26-year-old is out on the training field at all is incredible given the seriousness of his injury sustained following a challenge by Son Heung-Min in the 1-1 draw at home to Spurs on 3 November.
At the time most Blues were resigned to not seeing Gomes pull on an Everton shirt until next season, though the club struck a more optimistic tone in the days after the injury.
Gomes was able to return to Finch Farm at the start of the month for light individual work and today marks another significant step on his road to recovery.
A return to competitive action remains a while off, but it seems more and more likely that we will see him in action before the end of the campaign.
Meanwhile, the 11-day break between that calamitous draw with Newcastle and this weekend’s trip to Watford has given Carlo Ancelotti time to really get to know his squad after taking over in the midst of the busy festive period.
It has also allowed the injury list to ease, with Richarlison taking part in full training after missing the last two matches with a knee injury.
Alex Iwobi also returned after a month out with a hamstring problem while Gylfi Sigurdsson was back after a groin strain. Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed training on Tuesday with a minor knock but is expected to return to action on Wednesday.
Liverpool Echo reporter Phil Kirkbride said that Jean-Philippe Gbamin was not involved either. The Ivory Coast midfielder remains on an individual training session as he continues his recovery from what now seems to have been a really serious thigh injury, with no comeback date in sight.