Palace receive injury boost as Zaha nears full fitness

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - January 30, 2021 Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha wearing a protective face mask before the match Pool via REUTERS/Ian Walton

(Reuters) - Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said forward Wilfried Zaha is nearing full fitness but will not be rushed back into action when they host Manchester United on Wednesday.

Zaha, who has scored nine goals in 19 league games this season, has missed the last four Palace games with a hamstring injury sustained in the 2-1 win over Newcastle United on Feb. 2.

Hodgson is hopeful that Zaha will be available for selection when they face London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

"He's returned to training, albeit a bit modified," Hodgson told a news conference on Tuesday. "He looks ready to go again, we'll have to wait for the green light but it's looking positive.

"I think I'll be able to work him back into the squad very soon."

Further attacking reinforcements are set to arrive for Palace, as long-term absentees Jeffrey Schlupp and Connor Wickham have also returned to first-team training.

"I'm optimistic that both of those players will be back for me very soon – they will be available even for tomorrow evening," Hodgson added.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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