Everton manager Roberto Martinez said goalkeeper Tim Howard is "a little bit ahead" of where he was expected to be in his recovery from a calf injury sustained the day after Christmas.
Howard, who is also the U.S. men’s national team goalie, was given a timetable by the team of six-to-eight weeks.
"Tim is progressing really well, better than any medical advice would think," Martinez said. "We are still working within those six to eight weeks since the injury happened, but he is progressing extremely well and probably a little bit ahead of what we predicted."
Howard is currently taking a year off from the USMNT after making eight appearances for the U.S. last year, including at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 35-year-old had a World Cup-record 15 saves in the USA's 2-1 knockout round loss to Belgium and finished with 28 saves in four games.
Howard has three shutouts in 24 games for Everton this season, including 18 in Premier League play. He has been with Everton fulltime since 2007.
- Phil Watson