Everton defender Lucas Digne should return to action sooner than Carlo Ancelotti initially expected, according to the Liverpool Echo.

They report that the Italian thought his left back would be out for between two to three months at first.

He has had ankle surgery and started his rehab in France – but is expected to return to Everton next week.

And that has reportedly led Ancelotti to expect the Frenchman back earlier than first feared.

(Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Digne has spent the week recovering with fitness coach Thomas Ameur in Lille.

He’s expected back Finch Farm next week – at the latest – to start his full rehabilitation.

That’s a welcome boost for Ancelotti. He has really struggled to replace the Frenchman bought by his predecessor Marco Silva – who hailed his quality during his reign at Goodison – so far.

Fabian Delph was tried at left back, but limped off against Burnley, leaving Ben Godfrey to fill in.

Everton Training Session
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Niels Nkounkou is the only other recognised left back in the squad but wasn’t in the 18 at Turf Moor.

Perhaps this is where Everton are counting the cost of Leighton Baines’s retirement at the end of last season.

He would have offered experienced cover, getting Ancelotti out of a sticky spot, given he doesn’t seem to think Nkounkou is ready.

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