Tim Cahill has made a shock appearance at Everton's US training camp to increase the belief that he will be fit for the start of the Premier League campaign in less than three weeks.
Cahill's arrival in Chicago was a major boost for the club, as striker Andrew Johnson was in London preparing to leave Everton for a £12million move to Fulham.
Johnson was not included in the party that flew to the United States yesterday, and today he was at Craven Cottage completing a medical.
So while Johnson was on his way out of the squad, Cahill was delighting boss David Moyes by his arrival from Australia.
Cahill has been in Australia for the last week during the latest stage of rehabilitation following surgery on his foot.
The Socceroo international midfielder had not been expected to be fit for the start of the season, but the strides he has made in the last fortnight have led to a more optimistic prognosis - and the opportunity for him to join the squad in the United States in order to step up his training programme.
Everton assistant boss Steve Round explained: 'He is running now and everything seems to be going on the right track, touch wood, so we are looking to have him fit ready for the season.'
Cahill underwent surgery at the end of the season to solve a recurring a metatarsal problem.
Injury restricted him to 28 appearances last season, netting an impressive 10 goals.
Johnson's departure will give Moyes the cash to try again for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Moutinho.
Moyes has seen an initial £11.8million bid for the 21-year-old Portugal international, with Sporting seemingly insisting on a £20million deal.
Everton are unlikely to be prepared to go that high, but the sale of Johnson to the west Londoners will certainly help boost Moyes' transfer budget.
Johnson's career at Everton virtually ended last week when he is believed to have been reluctant to play in a friendly at Preston when he heard that a move to Fulham was immanent.
Although Everton chief executive Keith Wyness denied at the time that a bid had been received from the Cottagers, Johnson's days at Goodison Park have been numbered ever since an angry exchange with Moyes at Deepdale.
Everton will now certainly improve their bid for Moutinho, who expressed a desire to join the club after Sporting's home friendly with Blackburn on Saturday.
Moutinho said: 'Everton have already made a proposal, but Sporting did not accept. We will now see what happens in the next few days.
'But Sporting already know my will, I have already transmitted it to the people here. What is my will? With the reasons that I have, I want to leave Sporting and I hope an agreement can be found and that a good solution can be found for both parties.'
Everton play Chicago Fire on Wednesday and Colorado Rapids on Sunday. If Moutinho's move is concluded, he could be unveiled in the home friendly against PSV Eindhoven on August 9.