Zaha recovery ahead of schedule, confirms Hodgson


Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a knee ligament injury, manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed.

Zaha suffered the injury against Newcastle United on February 4, with initial reports suggesting he could miss the rest of the season.

Hodgson rubbished that speculation and the Ivory Coast international is on the comeback trail, although he will not be available to face Manchester United on Monday.

"Wilfried is recovering ahead of schedule," Hodgson told a news conference on Thursday.

"But his running at the moment is pretty much in straight lines but we haven't done those difficult things that need testing out for knee ligament injuries, the twisting and turning and then of course the contact with other players when you get back into normal training."

Martin Kelly and Jeffrey Schlupp could hand Hodgson a boost by being ready to return to the Palace side for the visit of United, however.

"I said last time that Jeffrey Schlupp and Martin Kelly were close to returning to full training," the former England manager said.

"I think they had done one session with us before the Spurs game but they have trained all week and I am counting on those two being fit, but they are the only two that are back in contention. All the other ones that were out are still injured."

Palace sit 17th in the Premier League table with 10 matches remaining, and only goal difference is keeping Hodgson's men above the relegation zone.