Everton striker Arouna Kone is nearing first team football return after playing 55 minutes in a behind-closed-door friendly, according to the Premier League club manager Roberto Martinez.
The Ivory Coast international has been on the sidelines for about a year. He damaged the cartilage in his knee during a 2-1 win over Hull City last October.
Kone was Martinez’s first signing after succeeding David Moyes as the Goodison club manager in June 2013.
He started only one game for Everton- a League Cup win over Stevenage last August- and made five substitute appearances in the league.
The Spanish boss did not fix a particular date for Kone’s return to the first team squad.
The 30-year-old scored 11 league goals for Wigan under Martinez in the 2012/13 season, before they went on relegation after winning the FA Cup.