Crystal Palace have received a surprise injury boost with the news that Jeffrey Schlupp is back out on the training pitch following the injury he picked up against Brighton in January’s FA Cup clash.
The medical team’s initial prognosis suggested that the former Leicester man would be out of action until mid-March at the earliest but evidentially, Schlupp is ahead of schedule and raring to go as he bids to re-take the role of first-choice left-back from Patrick van Aanholt, who has actually been rather solid in his absence.
In truth, yesterday brought all manner of positive injury news for Palace fans, with pictures of Mamadou Sakho taking part in full training after missing our trip to Everton last time out, the sight of Wayne Hennessey fully involved with the lads following rumours of a freak accident earlier in the week and yet more footage of Wilfried Zaha working hard in the gym as he bids to recover from the injury he suffered against Newcastle.
Whilst we are undoubtedly still slap bang in the middle of a major injury crisis, it’s nice to have a day in which all the news emanating from the club is positive rather than negative. We all know that we’re facing a major task in trying to win points from games against Tottenham, Manchester United and Chelsea in our next three fixtures but the spirit in the camp seems incredibly high, which is testament to the work Roy and the coaches are doing with the group from day to day.
Having another wide option available in the shape of Jeffrey Schlupp could and indeed should make a major difference to us given the continued absence of Wilfried Zaha and Bakary Sako. With Townsend still available for selection on the right flank, there is now a feasible chance of Roy using Jeff at left-back whilst allowing Van Aanholt to play as an out-and-out left winger, bringing a natural balance back to the starting XI.
This is nothing more than speculation on my part but whatever Roy’s tactical plans, it’s good to know that a first-team regular is closing in on a return.