Wilfried Zaha back in Crystal Palace training as he faces fitness race for Huddersfield
By Declan Olley
Last Updated: 13/09/18 3:51pm
Wilfried Zaha could be available for Crystal Palace’s match at Huddersfield on Saturday after he returned to training on Thursday.
The winger was ruled out of their Premier League defeat to Southampton with a groin injury but the Ivory Coast international was part of Palace training ahead of their trip to Huddersfield this weekend.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson says Zaha will need to be assessed further before giving him the green light to play on Saturday.
He said: "It was Wilf's first training session today.
"It was debatable whether he should train or not, but he was anxious to try, and the same applied to James Tomkins, so it was really good to see them back out with us again.
"But we will have to wait until tomorrow to see how they react to tomorrow's training session and see if they are going to be available, because both [players], if we listen to our medical department, are coming back early, if not as early as should have been expected."
Zaha's return would be a welcome boost for Palace after he scored two goals in his first three games this season following his new deal which will keep him at the club until 2023.
Palace have lost all 10 games since the start of last season when Zaha has been absent and Hodgson could not deny the importance of having Zaha fit.
Hodgson said: "Until such time as we do win a game, Wilf can sit there happily knowing he is the man that's got to play if we are to win a game.
"But I don't think the other players are happy with that - they know that there are going to be matches when Wilf for some reason or other is not able to play.
"So they have no desire to accept that a game is a lost cause without him, but until they do win a game, I can't say it is nothing but a fact."
Palace will be without striker Christian Benteke for the game at the John Smith's Stadium with the Belgian picking up a knee injury.