Roy Hodgson has delivered positive injury updates on both Scott Dann and Connor Wickham, with hope of both men making it back into Palace’s match-day squad sooner rather later.
Dann has been out of action since suffering a horrific ligament injury against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve of 2017 but has followed his recovery schedule to the letter and is now nearing a return as a result. Whilst a 10-month turnaround is still a mighty long time to be stuck on the sidelines, ligament injuries such as the one Scott sustained rarely if ever take less time to heal, making his recovery all the more impressive.
At 31, there were fears over whether or not the 6’2 central defender would ever return to the Eagles’ first-team but it is a credit to both he and the club’s medical staff that he appears on track for a return in the not too distant future. According to the gaffer, he has now been taking part in full first-team training for three weeks with no negative side-effects which is a gigantic tick against his name. There is no doubt that his presence in the match-day squad, as direct back-up to Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins will be welcomed. With both he and Martin Kelly in the mix, we’ll have real depth at the heart of our defence once again.
As regular readers of this site will know, Wickham’s continuous setbacks along the road to recovery have been a source of genuine sadness for me, given what I feel he offers the side when fit and firing on all cylinders. Unquestionably talented, the big man has probably pushed his body too hard on too many occasions over the last 12 months and has paid the price with niggling injuries as a direct result but Roy has now gone public with the fact that the striker has had a full week of training and come through unscathed which in itself is a huge achievement for him.
The fundraising game against Dulwich Hamlet has been tentatively pencilled in as the ideal opportunity for both Scott and Connor to pull on the red and blue shirt. Should both men be named as part of the squad on the night, it should have a sizeable impact on the gate receipts, given the time that’s passed since we last saw either of them in action.
Fingers crossed there are no more bumps in the road.