The midfielder has made a remarkable comeback after it had been initially feared that he would miss the remainder of the campaign.
Carlo Ancelotti has shown that Andre Gomes is in contention to start for Everton against Arsenal on Sunday, only 112 days after suffering a severe ankle injury.
The Portugal midfielder sustained a fracture-dislocation of his right ankle after a challenge by Son Heung-min during Everton’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham on November 3.
The 26-year-old had to be carried in the field on a stretcher and taken directly to hospital, with initial fears he would be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
But just 86 days after Gomes returned to training in the Toffees’ USM Finch Farm training ground and on Sunday played 60 minutes of a behind-closed-doors game.
Toffees boss Ancelotti, who replaced the sacked Marco Silva during Gomes’ spell on the sidelines, is happy with his progress and believes he’s very likely to begin at Emirates Stadium this weekend.
“He did well [in the practice game ], he played and with no problems and he’s available, in my opinion, to perform,” the Italian informed Everton’s site .
“Of course, I must talk to him about how he feels after playing his first game after a very long time out.
“My personal opinion is that he is about to play. When a player has been out for a long while, I think it’s far better to begin the game.
“He can prepare correctly, [rather] than to place him from the bench. But I must talk to him and together we can find a solution.”
Everton head to north London on the back of a five-match unbeaten run which has raised the club back into contention for a European location.
The Merseysiders are currently ninth and just four points behind Tottenham in fifth, which might yet yield a Champions League location if Manchester City’s European ban is maintained.
Ancelotti believes Gomes’ yield is a timely boost for the club as they look to keep their current good form.
“He can bring his expertise, his caliber with the ball, his understanding about approaches,” added the former Chelsea boss.
“Andre is a leading player and we want him. I am certain that he can begin well. It’s the ideal moment for him to return.
“We’re trying to have a vital moment, we have a few really important games.
“We’re fighting for Europe, this is our aim, to have a player like Andre will make us feel more comfortable.”