Everton’s lengthy injury list finally looks to be easing with a number of players back out on the grass at Finch Farm.
A tweet from the club earlier on Thursday showed the welcome sight of Ben Godfrey and Nathan Patterson back in training.
Godfrey has not played since suffering that horrific broken leg on the opening day of the season. To be at the stage where he is able to run out on the grass within two months is an impressive recovery, though a return to competitive action is still some way off.
Patterson meanwhile has not featured since picking up a knee injury playing for Scotland earlier this month, but the injury was not as bad as first feared and did not required surgery.
Speaking about their return at his pre-Tottenham news conference on Thursday, boss Frank Lampard said:
“Patterson we’re hoping will be fit in two to three weeks and Ben is a bit behind, it’s his first days out really on the grass so we’re probably looking at the other side of the World Cup break.”
Mason Holgate is also ready to add to Lampard’s defensive options after recovering from a knee injury suffered at Brentford in August, though he won’t be ready for Saturday’s trip to Spurs.
Yerry Mina will also miss the game in north London after suffering a setback in training - news which I doubt will shock many Evertonians.
The injury-prone Colombian has been out since the first day of the season with an ankle problem but was closing in on a comeback. However, despite being pictured in training he has picked up what has been described as a “small calf injury” which means he remains on the sidelines.
Such news would have come as a real blow last season as Mina was arguably the Toffees’ best defender, but the summer arrivals of Conor Coady and James Tarkowski mean the 28-year-old would struggle to get in the side even when fit.
There is better news about Abdoulaye Doucoure, who missed Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United but is able to return this weekend.
“Doucs had a family issue but he’s back in the squad for tomorrow.
“Mason is training, he’s not ready to be in the squad yet but he’s training really well. Yerry had a little bit of a setback this week, so he won’t be available.”
Another key player back in action is Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who played 15 minutes against the Red Devils after recovering from a knee injury picked up in the final week of the season.
Calvert-Lewin has endured a horrendous 15 months on the injury front, suffering a series of setbacks last season that limited him to just 18 appearances.
His return hasn’t been exactly straightforward this term if rumours are to be believed, though Everton have always insisted they are simply being ultra cautious with the England international.
Despite coming through his cameo against United unscathed Lampard played down suggestions he was ready to start against Tottenham.
“It’s great to have Dominic back, we’re in a process with Dominic where he’s not taking part in every part of training in terms of where we’d want to push him to get him completely match fit just in terms of the process of getting him fit and robust and staying fit.
“So we’ll just have to see that over the next days and weeks, how we get him to that optimum level and how quickly we can get him there.”