Everton boss David Moyes believes it is only a matter of time before Joseph Yobo reclaims his place at the heart of the Blues defence.
The Nigeria international has been left out for the last two matches - Everton's Uefa Cup defeat to Standard Liege and the 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle - but Moyes is confident the central defender will be back in contention soon.
The Everton manager feels Yobo's concentration has slipped in recent weeks but insists the defender is working hard and fighting to regain his first-team place.
Moyes told the Liverpool Echo: "He will be back in the team, I am sure about that.
"He is disappointed because he wants to play. I expect that and understand that.
"But he's had a difficult start to the season. We gave him extra time off in the summer because of his international commitments, then he had an injury niggle and that's all contributed to him not being able to reach the fitness level he wants.
"With fitness comes concentration and he has missed that. He's not really got back to the level we would have liked."
Yobo is currently away on international duty with Nigeria, who play Sierra Leone in Abuja this weekend.