Leighton Baines hopes to recover from his fractured toe in time to boost Everton over the busy festive period.
Baines has been sidelined since the Merseyside derby on 23 November and the initial prognosis was for up to six weeks on the sidelines.
The England defender revealed that it is still too early to put an exact timescale on a full recovery, though he does hope to be fit enough to play some part in Everton's holiday fixtures.
He told evertontv: "I've not been able to do a lot to treat it [the toe] because it's a break, so I've just sort of tried to see how it heals really and take it a day at a time.
"It's been pretty dull because you can't do a lot. There isn't that much treatment so it's just been a case of coming in and doing little bits of work in the gym and just hoping it recovers."
Baines also revealed he had considered utilising injections to allow him to play through the pain.
He explained: "The manager said early on it's quite a broad time frame that you can be looking at. We thought about different things - injections and stuff - but we didn't know whether that would set us back further, so we are just trying to let it heal naturally at the moment.
"Obviously the schedule thickens up around Christmas and New Year so you like to think you would be back and available to help the team at that point, but it's just one of those things. You have to wait and see."
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