LIVERPOOL, England (REUTERS) - Everton midfielder James McCarthy has stepped up his recovery from a double fracture to his right leg and could take part in the Merseyside club's pre-season training, manager Sam Allardyce said on Thursday (March 1).
Ireland international McCarthy, 27, sustained the horrific injury as he looked to prevent West Bromwich Albion's Salomon Rondon from shooting in their 1-1 Premier League draw at Goodison Park in January.
Allardyce stressed that the club's medical team would decide on McCarthy's return but did not rule out the player from taking part in the club's preparations for the new campaign.
"It is down to the specialist and them saying if and when James can start moving forward," Allardyce told the club's website (www.evertonfc.com).
"The specialist will guide us on how far we can go and with a bit of luck we can look forward to James starting the next pre-season with us."
McCarthy's fracture was the low point of a season that saw the combative midfielder struggle with a number of injuries.
"He has had some time back at home. He will probably rejoin us in the next few days on a regular basis to start getting some mobility into his ankle, particularly because it has been in a set position for such a long time."
McCarthy has made 132 appearances for Everton since signing from Wigan Athletic in 2013.
Everton are ninth in the league with 34 points and play at Burnley on Saturday.