Everton playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson is hoping to return even stronger after stepping up his recovery following a serious knee injury.
The Iceland international suffered knee ligament damage in the victory over Brighton earlier this month and initial reports claimed he could miss his country’s World Cup campaign.
However, scans provided hope of his availability for the showpiece in Russia and he is expected to be fully fit within eight weeks.
Sigurdsson, who only joined Everton from Swansea over the summer, has endured a mixed debut season on Merseyside but he was just starting to hit some consistent form prior to sustaining the injury.
Everton are unlikely to be able to call on their £40million signing again in 2017-18, but he is doing everything possible to ensure he is fully fit by the time national team boss Heimir Hallgrimsson names his final World Cup squad.
“The body will take its time to recover and I have to listen to it. I have been very lucky with injuries in my career and, hopefully, I will come back stronger and fitter than ever,” Sigurdsson told the club’s website.
“We have been working on getting the swelling down and the fluid out of the knee and getting some movement back into the knee.
I am seeing the specialist in London next Tuesday and he will reassess me – and we will take it from there.” Iceland, who are priced at 12.00 win Group D, will kick off their World Cup against Argentina in Moscow on June 16 before taking on Nigeria and Croatia.