Michael Keane is doing all he can to be fit to face former club Burnley at Goodison Park on Sunday.
The central defender picked up a foot injury in the 3-0 Carabao Cup win over Sunderland and was forced to sit out the subsequent games against Bournemouth and Apollon Limassol.
Keane admits the fixture against the Clarets was one of the first he looked out for after swapping Lancashire for Merseyside, and is working tirelessly in order to feature on Sunday.
“It’s a game I am desperate to play in,” he told evertontv. “I have a lot of friends at Burnley and enjoyed a lot of great times there. It was one I was looking forward to at the start of the season, so I am eager to get back fit for it.
“It is a massive game for us as well. We need to get a win but Burnley are in good form. I am doing everything I can to be fit so we will see what the next few days hold.
“I’m getting better every day. We will see what I am like on Sunday – it will be a late decision over whether I play or not. It is getting better but I just have to wait and see.”
Everton are looking to return to winning ways after Cypriot side Limassol snatched a point on Thursday night in the Europa League.
But they face an in-form Burnley, who have impressed in beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge while also taking points from both Anfield and White Hart Lane.
Summer signing Chris Wood, who joined in a big-money move from Leeds United in the summer, has spearheaded the Clarets’ eye-catching early form with three goals in six games.
“Chris is doing well up front and scoring goals,” added Keane. “I was with him at Leicester City when I was on loan so I know what kind of a handful he is. He is great in the air and has a good shot on him so we will need to be wary of him.
“But they have a lot of other good players who probably don’t get the credit they deserve.
“Burnley are always solid, always difficult to break down. They have a lot of good players and had a few good results away from home. That took ages for us to achieve last season so they will take confidence from it this time around. They can play with a bit of freedom away from home and it is going to be a very tough and very physical game.
“The lads will have to be up for it but I’m sure they will be ready. We can’t take anything for granted. We have had a little bit of a slow start to the season ourselves but we need to pick it up. What better place to start than in front of our home fans on Sunday. Hopefully we can play some good football and get the fans behind us.”