The 28-year-old was released by Birmingham at the end of last season after they were relegated and he had not played since September 2010 because of a cruciate knee injury. Even his surgeon had suggested he should consider quitting when he broke down during rehabilitation in March.
However, he played 45 minutes in Everton reserves’ win over Sunderland and manager David Moyes signed him. The Scotland internationalist said: “The manager asked me to come in and help because they were short on numbers.
“It is up to me to grab the chance and to show I am good enough to play for Everton.”