Crystal Palace have been without the services of Ruben Loftus-Cheek for the entirety of 2018 following a relatively serious ankle injury but now it sounds as though Roy Hodgson is hopeful of getting the 22-year-old back in the not too distant future.
Whilst the terms of Ruben’s loan agreement state that he will spend the whole of the 2017/18 campaign with us, the severity of his ankle injury was such that Chelsea decided to take care of his recovery themselves before giving the green light for him to return to Selhurst Park.
Speaking yesterday, Palace boss Roy Hodgson was finally able to disclose some specific details about his possible return to first-team action, having been kept in the dark for much of the last two months. It seems as though Loftus-Cheek was taking part in an U23 training session with us, where he picked up another extremely minor injury setback but will now be pencilled in for a possible return to the side following our game against his parent club next Saturday evening.
Whilst the youngster is undoubtedly outrageously talented, his troubling injury record is currently threatening to halt any talk of him earning a place within Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming World Cup in Russia. Back in 2017, he managed two startlingly impressive performances in the heart of the Three Lions midfield but since then, the aforementioned ankle injury has halted the RLC bandwagon dead.
Ruben’s impact in the opening month or two of the season prompted plenty of Palace fans to talk up the chances of the club shelling out a multi-million pound fee to secure his services in the summer of 2018 but now, you’re unlikely to be met with much enthusiasm by even raising the possibility of a permanent deal.
In an ideal world, he’ll return to our side in mid-March and dovetail perfectly with Zaha, who is also set to make it back to full fitness at the same time. Prior to their respective lay-offs, Palace were in the midst of a lengthy unbeaten run which had dragged us away from immediate danger; with that in mind, I’m left hoping that they can produce similar heroics in the games between now and May and provoke a similar upturn in form.
Keep fingers, toes and whatever else you can think of crossed.