Roberto Martinez says Lacina Traore is "not far off" starting for Everton, having recovered from a hamstring injury.
The 23-year-old moved to Merseyside on loan from Monaco on January 24, but is back in full training now and building up his match fitness.
Traore, who stands at 6ft 8ins, will give Everton's attacking play a different dimension when he finally gets on the pitch.
But Everton boss Martinez is happy to play safe and wait until he is fully fit.
"Lacina is progressing really well" said the Spaniard. "I didn't expect him to be available just yet but he is.
"It's just a matter of giving him that match fitness to avoid any risk. He's not far off, but I don't think he's ready to play 90 minutes yet."
Fellow striker Romelu Lukaku is also nearing a return from the ankle injury he picked in the derby defeat by Liverpool at Anfield.
The Belgian, on loan at Goodison Park from Chelsea for the season, will miss the upcoming games against Crystal Palace, Swansea and his parent club - but could be available for the home clash with West Ham on March 1.
Martinez said: "We've had really positive news with Romelu and he's back with us.
"He's going to be ready very, very soon. If he's not back this weekend, he will be next weekend.
"He has come back refreshed and fully fit and desperate to enjoy his football once more."