Ruben Loftus-Cheek nearing Crystal Palace return after ankle injury
Last Updated: 08/03/18 11:26pm
Crystal Palace are hopeful Ruben Loftus-Cheek will return to the club on Monday and be declared fit to play for the first time in 2018.
The on-loan midfielder has been with his parent club Chelsea since his last first-team appearance in the 3-2 defeat by Arsenal back on December 28.
Loftus-Cheek, 22, has been receiving treatment on an ankle injury and has suffered setbacks in his attempts to recover.
In the absence of the England man, Palace have slipped back into the Premier League's bottom three.
But, at a time when Wilfried Zaha and Mamadou Sakho are also nearing first-team returns, Palace are optimistic about Loftus-Cheek's prospects of featuring on March 17 at Huddersfield.
Eagles boss Roy Hodgson says he is expecting Loftus-Cheek to train on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.
Hodgson said: "As long as he comes through those three sessions OK, which both we and he are hoping, he will have Sunday off and will come back on Monday, and he will be available to us.
"The medical department have to look and speak with him but my hope is that he will come on Monday, walk into the treatment room, they will say 'How you feeling Ruben?' and he will say, 'I'm feeling great, what time does training start?'.
"That is what I am hoping for.I've had a few disappointments lately so I've learnt to lower my level of hope and optimism."