James McCarthy’s return to Everton will have to wait until November as the Irish international continues to be ruled out of action.
287 is the likely number of days between the 27-year-old’s most recent matches, having suffered a fracture to his tibia and fibula in his side’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion back in January, leading to a necessary operation.
It was just the third league game McCarthy had played for Everton in the 2017/18 Premier League season before injury struck again to bring an abrupt end to his campaign.
A return against Brighton and Hove Albion on November 3, according to Premier Injuries, will come as an early birthday present for the international regular, who turns 28 the following week.
Under the management of Marco Silva, Everton have started the season with consistent inconsistency, drawing two in a row, losing two in a row and then winning their last two matches.
The addition of the experienced defensive midfielder to an otherwise creative side will help further settle the Portuguese manager’s line-up, potentially preventing another late slip like on the opening day of the Premier League season when victory was snatched away by Wolverhampton Wanderers having wrestled back the lead from an earlier equaliser.
Having yet to play under the 41-year-old boss, McCarthy is not guaranteed a spot in a game at Goodison Park and will have to prove what he can add in training before any return is possible.
Should the soon-to-be 28-year-old show his abilities in a convincing enough manner, youth is likely to suffer with Tom Davies currently sitting alongside Idrissa Gueye in the holding midfield two.
If either are to be withdrawn, it is unlikely to be the 29-year old Senegalese international but rather the 20-year-old Liverpudlian, who is improving in the defensive role having begun his Toffees career in a more creative position.