Sean Dyche is hoping to have James Garner involved for the visit of Chelsea on Sunday (2pm GMT kick-off).
The Everton midfielder - who earned the Player of the Match award in the Blues’ 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest last weekend - was absent through illness for Thursday night’s excellent 3-0 home victory over Newcastle United.
However, Dyche, speaking in his pre-match press conference for the weekend’s fixture, spoke about the possibility of the 22-year-old returning for Sunday’s game.
"Jimmy, I hope [will be available],” said Dyche. “It’s a sickness bug and you never know, but they can pass very quickly. As we know – we’ve all had one – [it can be] 24 hours, but there are some longer ones.
“We hope it’s a 24-hour situation, so he’d have time to get food back in himself and feel stronger again.”
Amadou Onana is back in training after recovering from a calf problem, but the midfielder has missed the Blues’ past three contests.
On the likelihood of the Belgium international featuring on Sunday, Dyche explained: “Amadou, we’re hoping will be around it – possibly in the squad. We’ll just have to wait and see how the next couple of days of training go.”
Elsewhere for the Blues, both Seamus Coleman and Jordan Pickford appeared to pick up knocks against Newcastle.
Featuring in his first appearance since suffering a knee injury against Leicester City in May, a start for Toffees skipper Coleman represented his 353rd appearance in the Premier League for Everton - the most of any outfield player for the Club.
Last night, Captain Coleman made his first appearance of his 15th season with the Toffees.— Everton (@Everton) December 8, 2023
So good to see you back out there, Seamus! 💙 pic.twitter.com/kKnbQhzvis
Impressing on his return to the team, the Irishman was substituted after going down in discomfort during the 65th minute.
Shortly after, Pickford was receiving treatment for what looked like an issue suffered from clearing the ball. He managed to play on, lasting until the final whistle.
Providing an update on the pair, Dyche revealed: “We’ll check on Seamus tomorrow. He has a minor situation, we think, which is unfortunate but that can happen. He has been out a long time. It's great to have him back, he wore the armband with pride like he does.
"[Pickford] has just got a niggly thing on his knee. I'll find out more tomorrow, you never like to talk about it until you find out 24 to 48 hours later. I don't think it's anything too serious."
Heading into Sunday’s contest, Everton have won four of their past five home Premier League matches against Chelsea, who Dyche closely watched while in attendance for their 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday evening.
Despite being 10th in the league, Mauricio Pochettino's team have accumulated the third highest expected goals figure of any Premier League side this season (29.3) and have earned impressive results against the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Everton manager recognises the challenge his side face at the weekend, while revealing his admiration for his opposite number.
“I saw them at Old Trafford and they regathered themselves, I thought,” said Dyche. “After a quiet first half, they looked like an outfit in the second half.
“[Pochettino] is definitely a manager I respect. It seems to me that he’s making changes and finding different ways to work with the players. Sometimes that takes time. It did at Tottenham when he was there.
“They’ve still got very good players and I don’t think you spend all that money with a good manager who is knowledgeable, and don’t get some kind of outcome, so we have to make sure we’re ready.”
Keen to maintain the strong form that has seen Everton win four of their past six matches, Dyche spoke about what is needed to carry the positive momentum into the weekend.
“It certainly helps when the standard is high in the training ground, which I think we’ve got now,” he added. “The culture and environment we’re working in is very good. I spoke to [the players] this week about the drive and determination to train properly every day. I think that’s growing all the time.
"It’s a home game; our fans are going to be right up for it, obviously. So, those things help with that bit of energy you need as a footballer and as a team. We’ll certainly be coming back to Goodison in good shape and ready for the next challenge.”