Sam Allardyce has welcomed the return of Wayne Rooney to his squad after the forward recovered from illness.
The 32-year-old has missed the Toffees’ last two games against Chelsea and West Brom but the manager has confirmed he has returned to training and will be available for selection when his side take on Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Blues picked up two points in successive 0-0 draws against the Londoners and Allardyce hopes Rooney, who has 11 goals in 24 appearances so far this season, can boost Everton’s attacking threat.
“Wayne is back from illness,” he said. “He has been stuck in bed for three days.
“Any quality player who gets fit and returns is a big boost. The only thing we have done recently is transformed the team into a better defensive unit, and that has given us a platform. But I am still a little concerned about the amount of goals we are capable of scoring.”
Allardyce had further good news when it came to Yannick Bolasie and James McCarthy.
The latter played for the Under-23s prior to Christmas, while the former made his return to action with a 61-minute run-out in the 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns on Tuesday, and has shown no ill effect to his first appearance in 12 months.
But the Blues boss must remain cautious with the likes of Ross Barkley and Idrissa Gana Gueye.
“James should be training with us on Friday and should be fit for selection,” Allardyce added. “Yannick seems alright [from the West Brom game] as well.
“We will find out about Idrissa today. It might be a bit risky to play him against Bournemouth, in the hope that he will be ok for Manchester United.
“I’d like to have had Ross by now but that hasn’t been the case just yet. But he is training with us on a regular basis and he’s very close to being available for selection.
“The problem is you can’t play all of those players together. Wayne has been ill, James hasn’t played since Chelsea away in the Carabao Cup, and Yannick is only just back after 12 months.
“All of those players would struggle to complete 90 minutes of football. They could do it, but they would fatigue badly so I have got to be careful how I select the side for Bournemouth. But it will be good to have them back in the squad.”
Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman remain sidelined, with Allardyce adding that the former has suffered a setback in his return from a calf strain. But Coleman, with the use of a special machine, is making good progress from his broken leg.
“Leighton’s calf is still causing him problems, which is a concern. We knew he wouldn’t be available this weekend, but we expected him to be back in full training next week. But that doesn’t look like it is the case because he has had a set back in his rehab.
“Seamus is coming on ok. He is out running with the rehab lads, twisting and turning but nothing more than that at this moment. But I’m told he is progressing nicely.
“We are trialling a new machine, the latest in the market, so he is a little bit of a guinea pig at the moment. But it seems to be working and it is geared towards speeding up the recovery process. There will be a few more players testing that out in the next week or two. Judging by the results so far, we’ll be purchasing one of our own soon!”