Everton's England international defender Phil Jagielka will return from injury within the next three matches, manager Roberto Martinez has revealed.
The 33-year-old Toffees skipper has not played since suffering knee ligament damage against Arsenal on 24 October.
Everton host Tottenham on Sunday, Manchester City in midweek and Dagenham & Redbridge in the FA Cup on 9 January.
"The weekend could be too early but he will be involved I would say in the next seven to 10 days," Martinez said.
Everton have only lost twice without Jagielka, who signed from Sheffield United in 2007, but they have only kept three clean sheets in those 11 games.
"Medically he's got the green light, now it's making sure he gets a good programme to get him match fit," Martinez explained.
"In the dressing room he's a lively character that we've missed immensely, but we need to make sure he's at 100% before he can come back into challenging for a position in the team."