Ruben Loftus-Cheek may not have been able to play a part in yesterday’s game away to Chelsea but he is expected to return to full first-team training with the Eagles today, having been spotted at the Blues’ Cobham base late last week.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been at Cobham training and recovering from an ankle injury the last couple of weeks. He’s expected to be fully fit and ready to return for Crystal Palace next week.
Here he was yesterday taking in some advice from Frank Lampard. pic.twitter.com/oDzeycsb7Y
— Simon Phillips (@SiPhillipsSport) March 9, 2018
Having been ruled out for a prolonged period of time with an ankle injury, Roy Hodgson and the Palace medical staff have been kept in the dark over much of his progress but now, it seems as if Chelsea are ready and willing to send him back to south London for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
When Ruben first suffered the aforementioned ankle issue, there was an apparent difference of opinion between ourselves and Chelsea over how best to treat it, with the Blues (as his parent club) pulling rank and calling the midfielder back to complete his rehabilitation under their watchful eye rather than letting him stay on in SE25.
I’ll readily admit to thinking, given the seemingly frosty relationship between the two clubs, that we’d seen the last of the midfielder but by all accounts he’s fit and ready to return in a fully working capacity as of this morning, which is undoubtedly a boost for us heading into the final few weeks of what has been a roller-coaster campaign.
There is a part of me which wonders if Ruben could have returned sooner but was kept at Chelsea until after our trip to Stamford Bridge just in case one or two closely kept tactical secrets were revealed in the build-up. If that is the case, I don’t really have a problem with it but I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that the timing of his reappearance in Beckenham is more than a coincidence.
In an ideal world, Loftus-Cheek will be ready to play a full part against Huddersfield next weekend in what is a massive game for both sides. If, as hoped we regain the services of Zaha, Sakho and the Chelsea loanee, we will have a fair chance of returning back to south London with all three points, which in our current situation, couldn’t be more valuable.
Keep everything crossed.