Everton will again be without Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka for Saturday's visit of Manchester City but boss David Moyes hopes to have the former back sooner rather than later.
Howard has missed the Toffees' last two games after breaking two bones in his back during the 3-1 FA Cup fifth round win over Oldham.
The problem was initially expected to deprive Moyes of the keeper’s services for several weeks and, while that remains likely, the Scot is positive there will be no setbacks in his recovery.
"He [Howard] has got two broken bones in his back so he can't do any diving around or any running at the moment," said Moyes on Friday. "The good thing is they're both non-weight-bearing bones, which means that you could be back a bit quicker than you normally would from fractures.
"So we're hoping and pushing that we can get him back as quickly as we can."
Howard's absence ended a run of 210 consecutive league outings for the Blues - a stint that left him just three short of breaking a Club record held by the legendary Neville Southall.
"Tim's disappointed because he's been on a great run and but for a couple of bad challenges he would probably have continued,” added Moyes.
"He's someone we rely on quite a lot. He's been a regular for us and to miss him in some important games, it was a difficult blow."
Meanwhile, Moyes has admitted he will need to assess other players ahead of kick off before deciding his final team for the visit of the champions.
Club medics are also keeping a close eye on Jagielka as he continues his recovery from a serious ankle gash.
"There are one or two knocks and niggles from the [Wigan] game on Saturday which could affect me slightly but hopefully we'll have most players available," he said.
"As for Phil Jagielka, he's progressing but it's slow because he's got an open wound in his ankle.
"It's a cut right on his ankle bone and it's been stitched up but part of it's still open so we need to wait on that healing."
Visitors City will be without striker Sergio Aguero and captain Vincent Kompany. The pair are sidelined with knee and calf injuries respectively.