Everton have received some positive injury news regarding the recovery of key midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure this week.
The influential 28-year-old had been in fine form in the opening weeks of the current campaign until he picked up a foot problem in the 1-0 defeat against West Ham United on 17 September.
Originally, reports suggested Doucoure could be sidelined for up to seven weeks due to the stress damage in his metatarsal, but reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano has now revealed that Doucoure could be back in action much sooner.
He tweeted: “Abdoulaye Doucouré injury update. Everton midfielder will be back earlier than expected: he’s preparing his comeback in four/four and half weeks, after the international break. #EFC Finally some good news for Rafa Benitez.”
With star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines and centre-back Yerry Mina also incurring his own fitness worries, news that Doucoure will be available earlier than anticipated will have the Everton fans buzzing with excitement.
The box-to-box dynamo had been one of the Merseyside outfit’s standout performers of 2021/22 before his injury, bagging two goals and providing four assists in his eight Premier League appearances – a superior contribution to the entirety of the previous campaign in 21 games fewer.
And his absence from Everton’s starting XI was clearly missed last time out. Although his replacement in the middle of the park Tom Davies opened the scoring after just three minutes, Doucoure’s former side Watford dished out a 5-2 thrashing to his current employers.
Therefore, news of his positive progress will be warmly welcomed by Rafa Benitez and the Goodison Park faithful as they go in search of a top-six finish in the Premier League – something that is more than possible with the side sat only three points off the top-four.
Having Doucoure back sooner will bolster their chances of achieving that and that should leave everyone concerned with the club absolutely delighted.