Palace must find way to thrive without Zaha - Hodgson

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - January 26, 2021 Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson reacts after the match Pool via REUTERS/Steven Paston

(Reuters) - Crystal Palace must find a way to thrive without injured talisman Wilfried Zaha, manager Roy Hodgson said on Thursday as they look to return to winning ways in the Premier League.

Zaha, Palace's top scorer this season with nine league goals, has not played since he was forced off with a thigh injury during a 2-1 win at Newcastle United on Feb. 2, and Palace have lost twice since without scoring a goal.

Hodgson said he could not provide a definite date on the Ivorian forward's return.

"Our squad is not limited, but not as profuse as some of the clubs above us. We do suffer greatly when injuries come our way," Hodgson told reporters ahead of Monday's trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.

"Wilfried Zaha is always named, we can't win without him apparently, according to the stats. But we have to live without him... He's still suffering from the injury, no question of that.

"Doctors and physios are very anxious not to put dates on (his return), but he's working very hard to get back as soon as he can. He has good powers of recovery, so I'm rather hoping the prognosis will be different to the actual timescale."

Palace are 14th in the standings, three points above 16th-placed Brighton. The south-coast side could leapfrog the Londoners on goal difference with a victory.

"The fact that it's Brighton adds more spice, particularly for the fans. It's a good chance to show that the last couple of performances are not what to expect from us," Hodgson said.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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