Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti says that James Rodriguez will be fit in time for the Toffees’ FA Cup third-round tie with Rotherham on January 9.
The Colombian playmaker has not played since the start of December due to a calf issue. Indeed, he has missed Everton’s last five games due to the issue.
Ancelotti has previously been unable to offer much encouragement on the recent signing’s progress.
What’s more, previous reports suggested that club officials were ‘beginning to worry’ about James. However, in his latest press conference, Ancelotti set in stone a date for the midfielder’s return in 2021.
Asked for an update on the player and striker Richarlison, the Italian manager said: “One of them is okay, the other is unfortunately not.
“We have to wait a little bit. Richarlison is OK but James no. For James we have to look day by day, unfortunately he is not ready yet.
“It takes a little bit longer. I hope for the next game he will be ready. On January 9, he will be ready.”
Ancelotti also faced questions about the injuries to Allan and defender Lucas Digne. The former was stretchered off during the 2-0 win over Leicester before Christmas.
Digne, meanwhile, suffered an ankle injury in training.
“He is doing individual sessions,” Ancelotti said of Allan (via the Liverpool Echo). “I think that at least by the end of January he will be ready.
“We have good news that Lucas Digne will be starting individual sessions and in one week he will be able to train with the team.”
Ancelotti provides postponement update
Meanwhile, Ancelotti also confirmed that Everton have yet to receive further information from the Premier League about their postponed Premier League clash with Manchester City.
The Toffees requested further clarity from the league after it called off the match due to City’s coronavirus outbreak.
“No we didn’t receive it yet, the further information,” Ancelotti said. “But I think soon we are going to have this, but until now no.
“We were at the hotel but it doesn’t matter if it’s early, it doesn’t change the situation which was quite clear. We move forward.
“The fact that we didn’t play against City, we can have fresh legs against West Ham, it can be an advantage. The preparation for the game was good and we still have two days before the next game and I hope that we are ready.”
Everton host the Hammers at Goodison Park on New Years’ Day. However, no fans will be present after the UK government moved Liverpool into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.