(Reuters) - Everton have been handed a double boost with Steven Naismith expected to be fit for Saturday’s Premier League match at leaders Chelsea and fellow striker Romelu Lukaku available for the following week’s clash with West Ham United.
Scottish international Naismith was forced off during Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round win over Swansea City because of concussion.
”Stevie has reacted really well,“ manager Roberto Martinez told the club website (www.evertonfc.com) on Tuesday. ”It was a little bit of a concern straight away when he had that delayed concussion.
”Two hours after the game he was fine but for the next 24 hours it’s then important you’re in observation and we’re checking all the signs are right.
“We’ve done that and Stevie is perfectly well. Over the next three or four days we’re going to keep an eye on how he is recovering but I would say Stevie will be fully fit for the weekend because he’s ready now to get back to work as normal.”
Belgian international Lukaku, sixth-placed Everton’s top scorer this season with nine league goals, has been out with an ankle injury for three weeks but is targeting the West Ham match on March 1 for his return.
The on-loan striker is unable to play against parent club Chelsea.
“It helps in a way that he’s not available for this weekend because this game may have been a little bit too early for him,” Martinez added.
“But now we’ve got nearly two weeks to make sure he’s fully fit for the next home game and that’s very much a realistic target.”
Reporting by Josh Reich; editing by Tony Jimenez