Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin finally appears ready for his first involvement of the season after injury.
The England international sustained a knee problem on the eve of the opening weekend, but after a couple of false starts, with manager Frank Lampard holding him back to give him extra time to improve his fitness, he looks set to re-join the squad for the visit of Manchester United.
“Yes, he’s in contention,” said Lampard.
“We’ll have to see how match-fit he is, but in terms of the injury he’s better. It’s a really good boost.
“He’s a good player for us, pivotal in us staying in the league last year and we want to get him playing regularly.”
Defenders Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate, neither of whom have featured because of ankle and knee injuries, are also on the road to recovery.
“They’re training with us. Yerry joined us in the past couple of days, Mason came in today for part of training,” Lampard said.
“They’re both working hard to get back (to full fitness).
“This weekend comes too soon probably for both of them, definitely for Mason, but we hope with a good week’s training next week they can be in contention from then on.”
This week the club has been the subject of more takeover talk, with the LAMF Global Ventures Corp special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) – led by Los Angeles film producers and investors Jeff Soros and Simon Horsman, advised by former Everton director Keith Harris – reportedly having held preliminary discussions.
It is the second such approach after talks between another American-based consortium, spearheaded by former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon, broke down over the summer.
Lampard insists he is not distracted by off-field matters.
“It’s something that I probably don’t know enough about, and certainly can’t affect apart from doing my job well,” said the Toffees boss.
“My job is to coach this team and build relationships with the fans and those above me.”