REPUBLIC OF IRELAND midfielder Darron Gibson is set to return to training, nearly six months after he damaged his knee ligaments while on international duty.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez expects Gibson to train with the squad next week and hopefully play again before the end of the season.
The Toffees welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park on Sunday in a game that could prove pivotal in the race for the Champions League places.
Everton are currently four points behind Arsene Wenger’s side, though they have a game in hand, and Gibson’s return would be a timely boost as the season reaches its climax.
“All the signs [on Gibson] are very positive,” Martinez told the club’s official website.
“He is well ahead of schedule and that always pleases me, to see a player get ahead of the timing because it shows all the hard work they put in behind the scenes when nobody is watching.
“The desire of Darron has been sensational in that respect and to have him around the place is a great sign.
“It will be great for him to be involved one way or another before the season ends, even though that would be an incredible and remarkable achievement since looking back on when the injury happened with the national team.”