Everton wait on AJ news
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Andy Johnson reportedly has a chance of playing in the Merseyside derby.
Andy Johnson has a chance of making a rapid return from injury in time for Saturday's Merseyside derby, according to reports on Friday.
The England international had been expected to miss the clash with Liverpool at Anfield after injuring his ankle in an incident with Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland on 21st January.
However, various reports in the English media claim that Everton boss David Moyes will decide whether to gamble on Johnson's fitness following a training session on Friday.
With James McFadden out with a broken metatarsal, Moyes will be desperate to see Johnson given the green light to play after he scored twice in the 3-0 win over Liverpool earlier in the season.
However, if the striker fails to convince Everton's medical staff of his fitness, goalkeeper Tim Howard admits it will be a crushing blow for the club.
"We lose a different dimension to our game with AJ being out so we have to hit them from another angle. Whatever that may be - we will keep it close to our chest," Howard told the club's official website.
"Anytime that you lose a couple of attacking players, your attack is going to struggle a little bit.
"We have got Beats (James Beattie) and he is up for it, there's no question about that.
"But at the same time it can demoralise you a little bit when you lose players like we lost AJ and Faddy back-to-back.
"It's about rallying round each other and making sure that the guys have each other's back."