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Darron Gibson's protracted injury ordeal is nearly over with the influential midfielder hoping to make his comeback against Reading in nine days.
The 25-year-old has already missed eight games after limping off with a thigh problem against West Bromwich Albion in September, and his return to fitness has taken longer than expected.
Finch Farm medics discovered that the Republic of Ireland international had also damaged a tendon near his thigh, which meant his initial month-long lay-off was always likely to be longer.
However David Moyes has been careful not to rush his bargain £250,000 capture from Manchester United back into the first team, in the hope that when he returns he will be able to last for the rest of the season.
Gibson has an outside chance of being involved against Sunderland on Saturday after taking part in some light training, but it is more likely he will be brought back for the trip to the Madjeski Stadium on November 17.
Having the former Manchester United man back in action in time for December has been a priority for Moyes, with crunch games against Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea all taking place during a tough month, alongside a trip to Stoke and high-flying West Ham United.
It means Everton, who are also hoping Tony Hibbert will recover in time for the weekend, will have a fully fit squad as they attempt to strengthen their grip on fourth place in the Premier League.
EVERTON will not revive their interest in France U21 striker M’Baye Niang – despite him being made available by AC Milan in January.
The 17-year-old chose the San Siro over Goodison in the summer after having a successful trial at Finch Farm, but has so far made just one substitute performance for a Milan side which is struggling in Serie A.
Niang’s career has been hit by trouble during his short spell in Italy, most recently when he was one of five players who attended a nightclub on the eve of France’s Under-21 qualifier with Norway last month, a game they lost 5-3 ending, their hopes of qualification for next year’s tournament.
Niang, Yann Mvila, Antoine Griezmann, Chris Mavinga, and Wissam Ben Yedder were all spotted in a nightclub on Paris’ Champs-Elysees, confirmed by pictures on social networking sites.
It was not his only misdemeanour, after the teenager was also arrested for driving without a licence only a month after arriving in Milan.
The under-age Niang had borrowed a car from fellow summer arrival Bakaye Traore and pretended to be his team-mate when he was questioned.
Although the powerful forward impressed David Moyes during his week on Merseyside in the summer, the ECHO understands he will not attempt to lure him to Everton again.
Niang signed a three-year deal with the Rossoneri and joined for £2m from Caen in August.
But Milan sit 10th in the league and despite their willingness to sell, Everton are more likely to look to the loan market for established options in midfield, rather than return for a player who they rated as only having raw potential – especially after his off-the-field troubles.
MOVE over Mr Grey the boys from Everton have launched a new calendar – 12 Shades of Blue.
The Toffees decided to unwrap themselves to pose for a limited edition charity calendar.
The new calendar shows the first team squad as they have never been seen before and is a nod to the best-selling book, 50 Shades of Grey, by British author E.L. James.
The full calendar line up is yet to be revealed but the ECHO has managed to get two shots of goalie Tim Howard and Marouane Fellaini giving a sneak peak of their physiques.
Money raised from the pictures will be donated to Everton in the Community – the official charity of Everton Football Club which celebrates its 25th anniversary during the 2012/13 season.
The talented players are hoping their poses will prompt people to give to a good cause.
And the calendar is already whipping up a storm, with the phrase #12shadesofblue trending on social networking site Twitter this week after the club released a teaser image exclusively to female fans.
Tim, who was happy to lend a hand to support Everton in the Community, said: “Shooting the calendar was lots of fun and myself and the other boys were happy to help out. It’s a great feeling to do something to help other people and I hope sales of the calendar raise a good amount for the charity.”
The calendar is available from Thursday November 22 and is priced at £10. The calendar is said to be the first of its kind to be created by a Premier League club.
Over the last 25 years Everton in the Community has grown to be one of the most well respected and pioneering sporting charities in the UK.
To mark the anniversary the charity is inviting all Evertonians to be part of a campaign to raise £1m to help the charity in its mission to support even more vulnerable and underprivileged people on Merseyside for the next 25 years and beyond.
Buy the calendar at Everton One, Everton Two or evertondirect.com. To guarantee a copy of 12 Shades of Blue before November 22 pre-order at www.evertonfc.com/12shades
It is the book that everybody has been talking about and now its influence has even spread as far as the Premier League.
Everton Football Club have taken Fifty Shades Of Grey and re-imagined it for a racy calendar that features some of their squad.
Leading the way is goalkeeper Tim Howard who channels Christian Grey as he sits slumped provocatively against the changing room wall.
Wearing nothing but a towel, the American shot stopper has his tattooed chest and arms on show as he flashes a bit of muscular thigh.
The calendar, which is called 12 Shades Of Blue, has been made to raise vital funds for the club’s official charity, Everton in the Community, which is in its 25th year.
The entire starting line-up shed their kit for the initiative and they did it all with the blessing of their straight talking manager David Moyes.
Tim, 33, enjoyed doing the photo shoot and said: ‘Shooting the calendar was lots of fun and myself and the other boys were happy to help out.
'It’s a great feeling to do something to help other people and I hope sales of the calendar raise a good amount for the charity.’
The hashtag #12shadesofblue was trending on Twitter and many orders have been placed without people having even seen the rest of the risque shots.
The photo of Howard gives an idea of what can be expected, while Phil Neville's ripped six-pack is on the front cover.
The limited edition print, which is the first to be produced by a Barclays Premier League club, is available from 22 November.
It costs £10 and all proceeds go towards Everton in the Community’s ambition of generating £1million for underprivileged and vulnerable people on Merseyside.
Everton has always been a club eager to try innovative things to raise money for charity, such as when they launched a limited edition pink kit to raise awareness for breast cancer.
To buy your copy of 12 Shades of Blue, visit evertondirect.com.
Everton and Sunderland have sent scouts to check out St. Pat’s 19-year-old winger Chris Forrester.