Tony Hibbert could return to the Everton first team against West Brom on Monday after over a month on the sidelines through injury.
The experienced full-back - who has not featured since December 6 - is back in contention for the visit of Tony Pulis' side having returned to training this week, with Roberto Martinez to make a late decision on his fitness.
Sylvain Distin could provide a further defensive boost for Everton – who have conceded 34 goals in the Premier League this season – having recovered from a groin strain.
Both are in Martinez's thoughts for the clash at Goodison Park, however James McCarthy, Darron Gibson, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar and Tim Howard are unavailable again.
"I would say that Tony Hibbert is the closest [to a return] and we will assess him over the next 48 hours," said the Spaniard. "But we have to be careful that we don't push him too early.
"Sylvain should be training with the group tomorrow [Saturday] and again we will assess him just before the game to see if he can make the squad.
"James McCarthy and Darron Gibson are not too far away, and Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are progressing well but they have a bit more of a longer-term recovery programme.
"Tim Howard is well within the six to eight-week programme but won't be available for the Monday game."
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.