Everton’s Steven Pienaar has been given the green light to resume first-team training in what has been an injury-ravaged campaign for the midfielder.
The South African has not figured for the Blues since the 3-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers in December after suffering a knee injury.
The 33-year-old has also missed action this season because of a separate knee complaint, as well as a groin problem,and has indeed only made eight league appearances for the Toffees in this campaign.
The Merseyside club have struggled for consistency this season as they attempted to juggle action both domestically and in Europe and they currently find themselves in 13th position in the Premier League table.
Blues boss Roberto Martinez has now confirmed the former Tottenham player is pushing for a return to the first-team fold and will resume training with the rest of the squad next week.
He said: “We have had very good news on Steven. He has been working really really well and will join the group on Monday.We will take it from that point. Making sure that slowly but surely we can give him the right path into being fully fit and being able to enjoy his football again.”
The Spanish boss is hopeful the former South Africa international will be fit enough to make an appearance before the season is over.
He continued: “We’ve missed Stevie massively this season and it would be important that we can see him on the football pitch before the season ends.”
The Toffees are not completely guaranteed of survival in the Premier League as they currently sit just nine points above the drop zone, but they know a win in their next match against Southampton on April 4 could go a long way to securing their top-flight status.
The Blues are 2.55 to defeat the Saints at Goodison Park whilst the visitors are available at 2.89. The draw is on offer at 3.01.