Everton boss Roberto Martinez is optimistic midfielder Darron Gibson could return from a knee injury before the end of the season.
The 25-year-old damaged his anterior cruciate ligament during the Republic of Ireland's 3-1 win over Kazakhstan and now required surgery.
But Martinez said: "I was expecting the worse but with the scans on Wednesday we are really positive now."
"It is an anterior cruciate ligament but the whole structure of the knee is perfectly fine and it is going to be straightforward surgery.
"I am looking forward to seeing him back hopefully this season and in that way it was good, positive news taking into consideration what it could have been."
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