Date: 19th January 2018 at 12:47am
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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has revealed a double boost ahead of this weekend’s game with Arsenal.

Joel Ward has been out injured for the last month with a groin injury but he has been back in training this week and is ready for a return to action so he gives Hodgson another defensive option to consider.

Having been on the bench for our last game, Yohan Cabaye is now fit enough to start should Hodgson with to recall him to the starting line up.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek however is set for slightly longer on the sidelines with his injury.

Speaking to Crystal Palace FC as he met with the media this week, Hodgson said of the current injury situation at the club.

‘Joel Ward has been back in training for ten days so he is available but Ruben Loftus-Cheek is facing another 2-3 weeks on the sidelines and then will be reassessed and that could be a negative assessment for him so that is a major concern.’

Jeffrey Schlupp, Andros Townsend and Mamadou Sakho also continue to be out of contention for now.

The BBC make Loftus-Cheek’s situation sound worse from Hodgson’s own words.

‘The injury is more severe than we originally thought, or perhaps hoped, it would be.’

‘I would be very disappointed, surgery or no surgery, if he’s not playing before the end of the season. We certainly want him to be and I would presume Chelsea would want him to be because they might like to have a player who’s going to be selected for England in their squad but there’s literally nothing we can do about it. The only way he can make himself available for Crystal Palace or England is to be fit and at the moment that isn’t the case.’

There are World Cup implications here for England.

‘I don’t know. I don’t want to go into that at the moment because we don’t know how long it would take after surgery to get him fit again.’

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