Everton: Striker Arouna Kone back after long-term injury

Arouna Kone
Arouna Kone suffered cartilage damage in his knee during a match against Hull in October 2013

Everton striker Arouna Kone has made his return from a year-long injury lay-off in a behind-closed-doors game.

The Ivory Coast international, 30, joined Everton in a £6m move from Wigan in summer 2013.

He made five league appearances as a substitute before sustaining a serious knee injury during a 2-1 win over Hull last October.

But Everton boss Roberto Martinez said Kone is nearing a first-team comeback after playing 55 minutes in a friendly.

Kone was Martinez's first signing after taking over as manager at Goodison Park in June 2013.

The forward, who scored 11 Premier League goals for Wigan under Martinez in the 2012-13 campaign, has started only one game for Everton - a League Cup win over Stevenage last August.

Martinez did not say when Kone would be in line for a return to the first-team squad.

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