Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to return to training with Crystal Palace on Monday after spending weeks out through injury.
The midfielder’s return will be a major boost to Roy Hodgson and his coaching staff who have been disastrously short of numbers for quite some time now. I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you but prior to the loss of Zaha, Sakho and the aforementioned Loftus-Cheek, Palace were actually looking like a side that may establish themselves in the middle of the table rather than one scrapping for their lives in a relegation dogfight.
Whilst Ruben has been typecast as an injury prone player by many thanks to his continual back problems, the hope now is for him to return to the fold at Palace and see us through the final eight games of the Premier League campaign without any further setbacks.
Having injured his ankle a long while ago, he was caught in the middle of a disagreement between Palace and parent club Chelsea over how best to treat his rehabilitative work, leading to the Blues recalling him to their training base for all of his treatment.
As a consequence Roy Hodgson has been unable to give much in the way of a genuine update on the youngster’s progress when pressed for one by the media but now it seems as though Ruben is on the verge of heading back to Beckenham to resume first-team duties.
Even if he had been fit enough to take part this weekend against Chelsea, the terms of his loan agreement prohibit him from doing so, which leaves us all hoping that he’s far enough along to be considered for a role against Huddersfield next weekend instead.
We may have muddled through without him of late but in reality, his poise, range of passing and general readiness to dictate the pace of play has been a big miss for us.
A triumphant return against David Wagner’s men would be an ideal way for Ruben to reintroduce himself to the Palace faithful but for now, we’ll just have to take it one day at a time.