Everton are still hopeful that Jean-Philippe Gbamin will play again before the end of the season after he had another operation on his troublesome thigh. The Ivorian has been sidelined since August after he badly tore a quadriceps muscle in training just weeks after arriving from Mainz 05 in a £23m deal.
Given a preliminary target of this month for his return, Gbamin suffered an unfortunate setback in his recovery and had to undergo further surgery this week.
That procedure has been described as successful by the club's medical staff and Carlo Ancelotti told the media today during his press conference ahead of tomorrow's clash with Crystal Palace that he anticipates having the midfielder back in a couple of months.
"The plan is eight weeks after surgery," the manager said. "The surgery went well and he's doing individual treatment, but with him we have to do it slowly because the injury was big.
"It's step by step. We hope to recover him before the end of the season."
Everton say Jean-Phillippe Gbamin is close to returning to full training after surgery in February to repair a tear in his quadriceps tendon. The Ivorian though is "extremely positive" over the progress he is making under guidance of first-team physiotherapist Adam Newall. "He is working tirelessly to get back and sometimes I have to rein him in a little bit," Newall told the Everton website.
"We are pleased with where he's at in his recovery. With the surgery he had, the idea is to slowly increase the flexibility in the muscle and progressively ramp up its strength. "Once you're happy with those parameters - which we are now - we can increase function. If we were back at Finch Farm this week, he'd be ready to build on his outside rehab with the physios.
"Therefore, we are slowly introducing sports-specific movements this week. He is extremely positive and looking forward to mixing with the lads and pushing to be back in training."