Everton boss Roberto Martinez's injury count decreasing ahead of Tottenham clash
Everton boss Roberto Martinez is delighted to see his injury count reducing with Romelu Lukaku closing in on a return.
Last Updated: 09/02/14 12:37pm
Forward Gerard Deulofeu will travel with the squad for Sunday's match at Tottenham after being out with a hamstring problem since mid-December, while full-back Seamus Coleman is set to return to the starting line-up.
Martinez is also excited about the prospect of his other loan signing Lacina Traore starting for the Blues after stating that he has been a 'breath of fresh air on the training pitch'.
The 6ft 8in striker is yet to feature in a match-day squad following his arrival from Monaco late last month but is on the verge of a return from a hamstring injury.
"Lacina is progressing really well, I just need to assess whether it is wise to give him playing time," said Martinez.
"He is fully fit from a medical point of view it is just a matter of giving him the right playing time over the next two or three weeks because the last thing we want is for Lacina to push himself and get stretched trying to achieve the tempo of the Premier League.
"He has been a breath of fresh air on the training pitch, he has a hungry approach to everything he does and so we are excited to see him fully fit.
"Seamus Coleman has come through training ever so well, Antolin (Alacaraz) is going to be out of the weekend but there is nothing to be worried about - we're just trying to get him back to full fitness.
"Romelu Lukaku will be out for this weekend and probably the week after but I don't expect him to be any longer as he has been recovering really well.
"Everyone else is fully fit and available apart from the three long-term absentees of Bryan Oviedo (broken leg), Arouna (Kone) and Darron (Gibson).
"Ross Barkley has had a bit of pain (having played two games after a broken toe) but it is normal so I expect him to be fully fit and available for Sunday."
There was also positive news on long-term casualties Gibson and Kone who are both ahead of schedule in their rehabilitation from knee operations.
"Darron is progressing really well and I feel he will be back before the season ends, which is a real bonus," said Martinez.
"Maybe it is a bit too early to give a clear date when he will be back but I expect him to be playing again in May, which is credit to his hard work and the way he is recovering.
"Arouna is similar and I expect him to be involved again before the season end, which is an incredible credit to the medical department."