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Crystal Palace hoping to have Zaha back for Man Utd reunion as Ivory Coast international returns to training

26-Feb-2021, 10:13 pm

Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace 2020-21

Crystal Palace are hoping that Wilfried Zaha will get the chance to face former club Manchester United next week, with Roy Hodgson revealing that the winger is back in training.

Zaha has sat out three games with a muscle complaint, with Hodgson’s side coming unstuck in two of those fixtures before securing a dramatic derby win over Brighton last time out, and the hope is that a home date with Fulham on Sunday will be the last game that the talented 28-year-old misses.

Hodgson has told reporters when offering a fitness update on his most prized asset: “He was out on the field today, which was good.

“He was training with the rehabilitation specialist that we have.

“It was good to see Wilf out there running and playing with the ball. Muscle injuries you have to be very careful, so I will have to wait to get the clearance from the medical department to make sure his first sprints aren’t met with a new injury or a recurrence of the old injury.

“I’m rather hoping that by next week we’ll be seeing him back again. That’s my hope.”

A visit from London rivals Fulham will be followed on Wednesday by the hosting of Manchester United.

Zaha will be eager to figure in that contest, with the Ivory Coast international having previously taken in a testing stint at Old Trafford.

He is now very much back to his best, with further transfer talk being sparked, but Hodgson will be wary of rushing him back into the fold.

If Zaha is not ready to face the Red Devils, then it could be that a comeback is made when taking in a short trip to Tottenham on March 7.

Hodgson is not expecting to have any of his walking wounded available again for a meeting with Fulham, with Nathaniel Clyne set to miss out as he nurses a similar ailment to Zaha.

The Palace boss has added: “Jeffrey Schlupp and Connor Wickham took part in the early part of training with the team, after being with the rehabilitation specialists for a long period of time – but they didn’t join in with the more intensive session.”

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