Lacina Traore was expected to be out for the season with a hamstring injury but could be returning sooner than expected
Everton looked to have pulled off one of the best January transfers when they brought in 6 ft 8 in striker Lacina Traore on loan from Monaco shortly after they had signed him themselves from Anzhi Makhachkala.
The deal nearly didn't go through after Monaco's talismanic striker Falcao was ruled out for the season, but nevertheless Claudio Ranieri allowed Traore to go and get some playing time in the Premier League. Everton fans were excited to see him in action and finally did so when he started the FA Cup tie with Swansea City. He made an immediate impact scoring within the first few minutes.
However that was to be Traore's first and last appearance for the club after he injured his hamstring in the warm-up before the Chelsea game. Or was it? The injury had looked set to keep Traore out until the end of the season, but Everton kept him at the club and Roberto Martinez has now revealed the Ivorian is ahead of schedule with regards to his injury.
Speaking to the club's official website Martinez said "He is progressing really well and the signs are very good that we will see Lacina in an Everton shirt this season. He has had the first part of the treatment and his recovery is quicker than we expected, so we are very pleased."
It would be a huge boost for Everton who face Martinez's former club Swansea City once again this weekend. The Toffees are still pushing for a European place and whilst a top four finish may be beyond them 5th place is certainly within reach.
Martinez has hugely impressed in his first season in charge of the club and have two games in hand on Tottenham Hotspur who currently lie in 5th place just two points ahead.
Romelu Lukaku has been a key player for the side this season, and Traore alongside him would make Everton a formidable force. Martinez has been impressed with Traore's attitude. "His attitude has been very much focused on coming back and playing before the season ends, which we are very much looking forward to."