Ramiro Funes Mori made his return to action with Everton’s Under-23s as the young Blues side were comfortably beaten by Arsenal.
The Argentine, who was playing in his first game in 10 months, completed 45 minutes in the defeat as he eases his way back into first-team contention and looks to possibly earn a spot in Argentina’s World Cup squad.
Mori, 26, torn his meniscus back in March whilst playing against Bolivia for his home nation and has been sidelined ever since.
The defender stated back in December that he was looking to return to action sometime in February with the goal of earning a World Cup squad berth being his motivation to return ahead of schedule.
Everton boss Sam Allardyce admitted a couple of weeks ago that the defender would likely return in March as the Blues begin to whittle down their long-term injury list.
The Blues boss has already been handed a defensive boost with the return of Seamus Coleman and being unable to settle on a defensive back line, the return of the left-footed Mori would hand Allardyce another significant boost before the close of this season.
Mori and Coleman were both injured in the same international break last March and have been sidelined together since.
Coleman’s return from injury against Leicester City was an ‘inspiration’ for the Argentine as he looks to return in a similar fashion as the Republic of Ireland international.
Mori told EvertonFC.com: "Seamus has helped me, of course. He deserved it (his comeback) as he was a long time injured.”
"It is an inspiration for me (Seamus’ return),” the defender added. “I will have my chance and when I get it I have to give it a good go.”
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Allardyce will have the final say on when Mori is ready to return to first-team action but it shouldn’t be too far away.
The Blues boss is desperate for left-footed depth in defence and the 26-year-old offers just that.
“That was my first 45 minutes, so the manager will now decide when I can get in the first team,” Mori added. “But I am feeling good and ready to come back.”