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Everton manager Ronald Koeman says Ireland midfielder James McCarthy is fit and available for selection for Sunday's Premier League game against Arsenal at Goodison Park.
McCarthy, who is yet to make a first-team appearance this season following the knee injury he suffered in July, played 45 minutes for the Under-23s against Wolfsburg on Tuesday and Koeman confirmed the 26-year-old could feature against the Gunners.
"That is possible - but that decision is what I need to take tomorrow [Saturday]," he said.
"But he is fit to be part in the team."
Koeman and Ireland manager Martin O'Neill have previously clashed over McCarthy's fitness, after the midfielder aggravated a hamstring injury on international duty in March when the Dutchman had counselled the player to stay in Liverpool and rest.
Koeman was also unhappy that McCarthy was called up to the Ireland squad for October's World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales, publicly warning the Glasgow-born midfielder that he expects "every Everton player not to take risks when it's not necessary".
France midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is also in contention for a place in the side for Sunday’s match, despite not training on Friday after being withdrawn after 57 minutes of Thursday's Europa League 2-1 defeat to Lyon with a leg injury.
Defenders Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines and forward Wayne Rooney were rested for the Lyon game but Koeman confirmed the trio will be involved against the Gunners.
However, long-term absentees Yannick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori [both knee], Seamus Coleman [broken leg] and Ross Barkley [hamstring] are some way away from a return to training.
"It takes time - they are still not close to a full group training session. That applies to Seamus, to Funes Mori, to Ross Barkley and Yannick Bolasie," he continued.
You can watch all of Everton’s Europa League campaign on the eir Sport package. Ronald Koeman's side face Lyon, Atalanta and Apollon Limassol in Group E. Everton face Lyon at Parc Olympique Lyonnais, on 2 November, a match which will be shown live on eir Sport 2 [kick off 6pm]
Photo Getty Images/ Clive Brunskill
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