Roberto Martinez admits it may not be until mid-September before new signing Arouna Kone rediscovers peak fitness.
Kone followed Martinez from Wigan Athletic last month for £5million, making him the Spaniard’s most expensive summer signing.
However, the Ivory Coast international has appeared jaded throughout his pre- season performances, not helped by observing Ramadan which meant he had to fast during the hours of daylight.
Kone was restricted to two late cameos from the bench during Everton’s opening two Premier League games and finds himself behind Nikica Jelavic in the early striking pecking order.
The 29-year-old, who became a father this week, is likely to again be among the substitutes when Martinez’s men visit promoted Cardiff City on Saturday.
And the Goodison manager said: “I think it’ll be a couple of weeks before Arouna is fully fit. It think that will be just the normal time.
“He’s not far away physically from his best moment last season. But it’s been a testing summer for him with Ramadan and his personal situation.
“I thought when he came on Saturday he showed he is ready and desperate to perform. I don’t think he’s too far away from being at his best level.”