Seamus Coleman took a huge step on his long road to recovery by playing 58 minutes of Everton Under-23s' 3-0 win against Portsmouth on Tuesday evening.

The Donegal man had not played competitive football since breaking his leg in action for the Republic of Ireland against Wales back in March 2017, however, the full-back made a very welcome return to Goodison Park in the No 2 shirt.

The 29-year-old was tidy and composed as he felt his way back into action. 

Coleman has been back training with the first team in recent weeks, following a sustained period of recuperation as he built up his stamina and strength on his leg.

The former Sligo Rovers defender's return will prove a real boost to Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, who confirmed tonight that he has finally put pen to paper on a fresh deal.

He'll bring his squad to Turkey in March for an international friendly and will, no doubt, be keen to have his captain back in a playing capacity.

Everton team-mate and fellow Ireland international, James McCarthy, suffered a similar fate on Saturday, breaking his leg in a clash with West Brom and has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.