Christian Benteke back in full training, says Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson
Jason Puncheon on the verge of Huddersfield switch, adds Hodgson
Last Updated: 04/01/19 3:19pm
Crystal Palace have been handed a boost by Christian Benteke's return to full training.
Palace's record-signing Benteke started the first four games of the season before suffering a knee injury, which required surgery.
Hodgson's side have struggled for goals in the absence of the Belgium international, but Hodgson, who was speaking ahead of Crystal Palace's FA Cup tie with Grimsby this weekend, says Benteke's return to action is imminent.
"He's been back in training a while but today [Friday] was the first real occasion I suppose when he has joined the squad and trained from start to finish," the Crystal palace boss said.
"There have been a couple of occasions where he has joined in the early part of training and when it's become a bit more competitive he has to drop out but today he took part in full training."
While Benteke is in line to make his first-team comeback, Hodgson confirmed Jason Puncheon is on the verge of leaving Selhurst Park to join Huddersfield.
He added: "I believe we are still waiting confirmation that the paperwork has all been completed and that the deal has gone through, but I don't expect anything to happen to prevent that [move] from going ahead.
"Jason has been a fantastic club servant. A very well-liked and very well-respected member of our team and squad for so many years but he hasn't too many chances in recent times.
"And now when he had got the opportunity to get a first-team place and play on a regular basis, it would be wrong in my opinion to prevent him or stop him from doing that, knowing I haven't been able to offer him that position here."