Ronald Koeman expects Romelu Lukaku to recover from a calf problem in time to be fit for his side’s forthcoming Premier League fixture against Sunderland.
Lukaku missed the club’s trip to Dubai for a training camp during the break in fixtures, instead travelling to his native Belgium for treatment on his calf.
Koeman indicated the injury was troubling Lukaku before Everton’s 0-0 draw at Middlesbrough, in which the striker played the full 90 minutes.
“We know that for 10 days Rom has had some problems with his calf,” Koeman told Evertontv.
“He has a lot of confidence in the Belgian doctor and I gave him permission to go to Belgium and recover.
“We expect him, normally, next Tuesday to be joining in the training session. He will be fit and available for the weekend.”
Everton are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League games – a run stretching back to the 1-0 Merseyside derby defeat to Liverpool in December – and Koeman is optimistic that he will have a strong squad to pick from against Sunderland.
Midfielder James McCarthy (hamstring) and forward Kevin Mirallas (groin) both missed the Middlesbrough game due to their respective injuries, but Koeman hopes to have both players match fit after the Dubai camp.
“They are progressing well,” he said. “We knew that they would not play in the friendly this Friday but next week, from Tuesday on, they will be available for all the training sessions.
“Normally they would be fit for the weekend of Sunderland.”
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