Everton midfielder James McCarthy could make his competitive comeback over the festive period after 11 months out with a broken leg.
The Republic of Ireland international has not featured since a horrific double-fracture of his lower right leg against West Brom on January 20.
McCarthy was involved with the squad for the visit of Newcastle earlier this month but did not make the bench.
But with four matches in 212-and-a-half hours – the shortest time of all Premier League sides – from Boxing Day to New Year’s Day, he could be called upon.
“James is progressing. He is getting better,” manager Marco Silva told evertontv when asked about his midfield options.
“It is good to have all of them available. We will need all of them. It will be important in a busy month.
“We have some games really close to each other, there is not the normal time to recover between games.
“It is a matter of decisions. What I want is them working hard to be ready when the chance comes again.
“I know games will give him a better condition, but we are playing tough, tough matches and it is not easy to give him what everybody knows will help him get better, which is minutes in those games.
“But he is a worker and I really like him. He works really hard every day to achieve the best physical condition. He enjoys what he is doing.”