Everton have been handed a boost after Leighton Baines made a goalscoring return to action from a six-month ankle injury lay-off in a behind-closed-doors match against Preston on Wednesday night.
The 30-year-old has been a big miss for Toffees boss Roberto Martinez so far this season after he required two surgeries to fix the problem to his ankle.
However, Baines edged closer to a first-team comeback by coming through the game against North End, which Everton won 4-3, and finding the net in the process.
Martinez is set to organise another game during the ongoing two-week international break to try and get more minutes for Baines, with a view to him possibly returning to action in the Premier League clash against Aston Villa at Goodison Park on November 21.
Baines will face a fight to dislodge Brendan Galloway from the starting line-up as the 19-year-old has performed well in the left-back role for Everton this term.
The news of Baines’ comeback will be music to the ears of England boss Roy Hodgson, who will no doubt hope he can maintain his fitness in the build up towards next summer’s European Championship in France next summer.
Everton are 1.57 to defeat rock-bottom club Villa in their next Premier League outing on Saturday week. Remi Garde’s men are 6.00 and the draw is 3.80.