Ronald Koeman says the return to training of Seamus Coleman and Yannick Bolasie is a “big boost for both players” – but the Everton manager is promising not to hurry the pair back into action.
Bolasie and Coleman both recently stepped up their respective recoveries from injury by resuming ball work at the Toffees’ Finch Farm training headquarters.
Winger Bolasie has been sidelined since he damaged his right knee during Everton’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United last December.
Coleman suffered a broken leg playing for Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifier against Wales back in March. He trained outside for the first time following the injury on the eve of the Premier League season and has since been steadily ramping up his rehabilitation.
Koeman had a glittering 17-year playing career with clubs including PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona, and, as such, is keenly aware of how eager Coleman and Bolasie will be to pull on their boots again.
Equally, the Dutchman insists it is imperative his players’ returns are not rushed for short-term gain, at the expense of their longer-term health.
“It is a big boost for both players,” Koeman told evertontv. “They really are working hard to come back as soon as possible.
“If you go out with the ball and are training, and are out on the grass and close to the team, it is really a boost and a big step forwards.
“Let’s hope they are back as soon as possible. But it is about making sure they come back as strong as possible – and healthy.
“That is the most important thing. It is not about coming back one week faster – it is all about being one hundred per cent.”
Bolasie featured in 14 Premier League matches last season following his move to Everton from Crystal Palace.
He scored one goal and contributed four assists before injuring his knee in an innocuous challenge with Manchester United’s France international forward Anthony Martial.
Bolasie was flooded with good-wishes when he recently posted a video to Instagram of him working with a ball, with fellow African stars Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure among those sending messages of encouragement to the Democratic Republic of the Congo international.
Evertonians have also rallied around Bolasie – and the 28-year-old admits he has been blown away by the support he has received.
Speaking to evertontv this week Bolasie said: “I have got time to practice some things that I need to, so I am happy.
“The support I have had has been incredible. Obviously, to have big African icons that I look up to, like Drogba and Yaya Toure, supporting me… I would never have thought of that. It just makes me want to come back stronger.
“And, also the fans. They have always been on my side since I have been injured. Now I am looking forward to coming back and showing them what I really can do.”