Everton's injury-hit central defender Phil Jagielka is set to continue his return to full fitness by playing in a reserve match this afternoon.

The England international has been out for more than two months after suffering knee ligament damage during the Toffees 2-1 home defeat to Bolton Wanderers.

He returned to the bench during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers but did not feature.

After coming through training unscathed, he will look to take the next step in his recovery by taking part in a Merseyside derby reserve game against Liverpool.

As a result, David Moyes could welcome back the centre-half just in time for Everton's run of key fixtures during March.

The Toffees face Spurs on Saturday before travelling to Anfield on Tuesday and then returning to Goodison Park for the FA Cup quarter-final against Sunderland four days later.

Speaking about Everton's crucial run-in to the club's official website, Leon Osman said: "It's certainly a tough run of games but we'll look forward to them and hope to get the results that we want.

"We've got to go out there and take each game individually and put in the performances we have been in the last few weeks."

The return of Jagielka would strengthen Moyes' defensive options and cause a possible selection headache after the manager praised the performances of Jonny Heitinga in his absence.

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