Everton midfielder Muhamed Besic has taken a step closer to making his long-awaited return to first-team action after playing 45 minutes for the Toffees' Under-23 side on Monday evening (10 April).

The Bosnian, who has not played a minute of football for Ronald Koeman's men this season, helped David Unsworth's talented youngsters secure a 4-1 victory over Tottenham U23s at Goodison Park, and the Everton youth coach expressed his delight at seeing the industrious midfielder strut his stuff after a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

"It was great to see Mo back out on the pitch," Unsworth told Everton's official website. "It was always the plan to give him 45 minutes. He's worked so tirelessly in the gym and behind the scenes. We're delighted to see him back and hopefully he'll get some more minutes between now and the end of the season."

Besic damaged his anterior cruciate ligament during Everton's pre-season friendly against Manchester United and has had to watch from the stands as the likes of Idrissa Gueye, Morgan Schneiderlin and young starlet Tom Davies push him down the pecking order at Goodison Park.

The former Ferencvaros star, who started his career as a central defender, is now taking part in training with the rest of Everton's senior players. While manager Koeman is pleased with the 24-year-old progress, he is unsure if he will be able to play a part in the dying embers of his side's season, with the Toffees still aiming to overhaul Arsenal and Manchester United.

"Mo Besic is doing well, he is doing some tests for his fitness, and is part of every training session," Koeman said in a recent press conference. "He needs to do some more steps and then play for the under-23's. I don't know if there will be an opportunity for him to be really fit and play for the first team before the end of the season."