Good news on the injury front for Ireland as James McCarthy makes return to action
James McCarthy has made his long-awaited return from injury by playing the first half of the Everton under-23s 3-1 defeat to VfL Wolfsburg in a Premier League International Cup match.
McCarthy was substituted at half-time with the young Toffees 1-0 up.
It will be a welcome boost to the Republic of Ireland midfielder who has not featured for Everton since picking up a knee injury in the defeat to Spurs last March.
The 26-year-old trained with Ireland during the recent international break that yielded wins over Moldova and Wales and a World Cup play-off with Denmark next month.
Martin O'Neill decided not to use the Glasgow-born player prompting Everton boss Ronald Koeman to it was the "first time" that Ireland had erred on the side of caution in relation to the midfielder.
He has been previously critical of how Ireland have managed McCarthy after he return to Goodison Park following international breaks after aggravating groin and hamstring injuries.
News that McCarthy is closing in on a return to full action will be music to both Koeman and O'Neill's ears with the Dutchman struggling in the league and O'Neill plotting a play-off victory over the Danes.