A training ground bust-up with his manager over a proposed move to Hull had resulted in him being dropped for the FA Cup replay with Liverpool, and his Everton career appeared dead in the water.
So when news emerged that the Nigeria-born striker would be missing for a year, many believed he would never reappear in an Everton shirt.
But reappear he did, and last weekend's goal against Birmingham proved that Anichebe could just be about to have a positive impact on the Toffees season when it counts.
After the game, the striker insisted he is working harder than ever at Everton's modern training complex in Halewood.
Now manager David Moyes believes the diplomat's son is growing up: 'Victor has matured lately,' he says.
'He has all the attributes to be a really good modern day footballer, but he has to work harder at his game.
'He has to improve his training. He has to decide how much he really wants it and the way you show that is by what you do on the field. He has done much better in recent games.
' We have shown confidence in him by giving him a run in the team and a chance to show what he can do.'
Moyes lauded the powerful forward's display on the right of attack against Birmingham.
'There was a period last week against Birmingham where he was practically unplayable, he was that good. He can be that on his day.'