Yannick Bolasie is unlikely to play for Everton again until the end of the year, with the £25m winger due to undergo a second operation on his injured knee.

The 27-year-old has been sidelined since 4th of december when he sustained a serious knee injury against Manchester United. Bolasie had surgery to repair damaged cartilage a fortnight after the game but needed to make a full recovery from that procedure before his ruptured anterior cruciate ligament could be addressed.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo international is scheduled to have an operation on the ACL next month and Ronald Koeman, the Everton manager, admits it could be another eight months before his main summer signing is in contention for a first-team return.

Koeman said: “Yannick will have a second surgery at the beginning of march. The surgery was expected because his first surgery was about the meniscus, and now what will happen at the beginning of March is about his cruciate.”

“It is difficult to put a timescale because normally a cruciate can be six, seven or eight months. We had to repair the meniscus and then wait until his knee was ready to have the second operation.”

The Everton manager said Bolasie is confident of making a full recovery in time but has endured difficulties during his prolonged spell on the sidelines.

“He is in several times during the week,” Koeman said. “He was OK, really positive, and working hard to come back but like every player in that situation you get difficult moments in a day, difficult moments in the week. He is positive about coming back as strong as possible.”

Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas and James McCarthy, by contrast, have provided the Everton manager with better injury news by returning to training ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Sunderland. Lukaku missed the team’s warm-weather training camp in Dubai last week due to a calf problem and had treatment back home in Belgium, but resumed full training on Tuesday.

Mirallas and McCarthy have also recovered from minor knocks in time for David Moyes’ return to Goodison Park and the midfielder Mo Besic, who has been sidelined with a knee problem since pre-season, is also close to resuming full training.