Everton manager Ronald Koeman says the injured trio of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and James McCarthy will be fit for his side's match against Sunderland on 25 February. Lukaku has not travelled with Everton to their warm-weather training camp in Dubai due to a calf problem while Mirallas and McCarthy are currently nursing groin and hamstring injuries respectively.
Instead of joining his teammates in the United Arab Emirates, Lukaku has flown to his native Belgium for treatment and is expected to return to training on Tuesday (21 February). Koeman revealed Lukaku had been experiencing problems with his calf in recent days but is confident his star striker will be fit to face the Black Cats.
"We know that for 10 days Rom has had some problems with his calf," Koeman told Everton's official website. "He has a lot of confidence in the Belgian doctor and I gave him permission to go to Belgium and recover. We expect him, normally, next Tuesday to be joining in the training session. He will be fit and available for the weekend."
Lukaku played the full 90 minutes of Everton's 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough last weekend but Mirallas and McCarthy were not involved in the fixture at all. The Belgian and Irish internationals have both made the trip to Dubai, though, and Everton boss Koeman believes the pair are fully on the mend.
"They are progressing well," Koeman added. "We knew that they would not play in the friendly this Friday but next week, from Tuesday on, they will be available for all the training sessions. Normally they would be fit for the weekend of Sunderland."
Everton's physical capabilities have been a bone of contention for Koeman throughout the season, but the former Southampton manager thinks his squad are finally at full fitness. The Barcelona legend was keen to stress that he was not overworking his players and believes the Toffees are now able to "fight until the last second" in every game.
"Yes, most of them are (at 100% fitness)," Koeman told The Liverpool Echo. "Of course some players have had less game-time, but overall the team is on the level that we like and that we need.
"We are not overtrained. I think the team is really fit, and in every game we can fight until the last second to have a better result. It is all about finishing strongly in the league, and from there everything is possible."