Everton midfielder Andre Gomes could play again before the end of the season after surgery on his broken ankle went well, his club manager Marco Silva said Thursday.
The 26-year-old Portuguese international suffered a fracture dislocation of the right ankle after being tripped by Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min in Sunday's 1-1 draw.
Silva said the news from the club medical staff had been mildly encouraging following Monday's surgery and suggested a return could be feasible before the end of the campaign in mid-May.
"It's not easy for us to give a sure date about when he will return," Silva said at his press conference ahead of this weekend's match with fellow strugglers Southampton.
"What's in our mind and the feedback I have from our medical staff is that it's possible we will see Andre playing again this season.
"Of course, it's not something we are 100 per cent sure about, but we have good possibilities to do that.
"He is strong, he will keep strong for sure and will become stronger as a player."
Silva, whose side are in need of points and lie just one place above the relegation zone, said he understood the distress of Son and Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier.
Gomes fell awkwardly following the challenge from Son and his momentum carried him into Aurier.
Son, whose red card was rescinded on appeal, was visibly distraught while Aurier had to be replaced soon afterwards due to being so upset.
"Yes, I think he (Gomes) received a text message or something like that from Son," said Silva.
"Of course that was a tougher moment for Andre, for sure, than all the others on the pitch.
"The toughest moment was for Andre, but of course for the two players who were involved, first Son and after, Aurier, it was really tough as well."
Everton manager Marco Silva believes Andre Gomes could return to action before the end of the season