March 1, 2021

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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson provides Wilfried Zaha injury update ahead of Brighton clash

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Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is sidelined with a thigh issue (Picture: Getty)

Roy Hodgson has confirmed Wilfried Zaha is yet to return from his thigh injury and will therefore miss Crystal Palace’s clash with fierce rivals Brighton on Monday.

Zaha has once again led from the front this season, racking up nine goals and two assists in the Premier League, and the 28-year-old played a key role in Palace’s two most recent wins over Wolves and Newcastle.

But a muscle problem meant the Ivory Coast forward could not feature against either Leeds United or Burnley and his absence was keenly felt as the Eagles were comprehensively beaten in both matches.

Zaha will play no part at the Amex on Monday (Picture: Getty)

And while Zaha has made significant strides with his recovery, Hodgson refused to set a possible comeback date for his top scorer ahead of Palace’s trip to the south coast.

‘He’s still suffering from the injury, no question about that,’ Hodgson said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

‘Doctors and physios are very anxious not to put dates on, but he’s working very hard to get back as soon as he can.

‘He has good powers of recovery so I’m hoping the prognosis will be quite different to the recovery.’

Hodgson’s side sit 14th in the table after two defeats on the bounce (Picture: Getty)

Zaha said he was ‘feeling a lot better’ but hinted he was still some way away from his return when asked about his injury at Thursday’s FT Business of Football conference.

‘It’s getting there,’ the former Manchester United attacker said.

‘It feels a lot better than before but there’s a lot of rehab I need to do in the gym.

‘It’s slowly getting there.’

Palace have struggled in Zaha’s absence (Picture: Getty)

Palace, currently languishing down in 14th place, have been hit hard by injuries across the campaign and Hodgson will be without nine first-team players at the Amex on Monday evening.

But the ex-England boss said his squad must learn to ‘live without’ key players such as Zaha if they are to turn steer themselves out of trouble and turn their form around after back-to-back defeats.

He added: ‘There have been periods where we’ve looked on the way down on a rollercoaster and then the up has hit us earlier than we realised.

‘Our squad is not limited but not as profuse as some of the clubs above us. We do suffer greatly when injuries come our way.

‘Wilf Zaha is always named, we can’t win without him apparently, according to the stats. But we have to live without him.’

Crystal Palace players currently unavailable

James McCarthy, James McArthur, Connor Wickham, Jeffrey Schlupp, Mamadou Sakho, Wayne Hennessey, Nathan Ferguson, James Tomkins and Wilfried Zaha.

On whether the clash with Brighton could be the game to get Palace going again, Hodgson replied: ‘Yes, whatever team we’d have been playing after the last two, we’d have been anxious to show we’re better.

‘The fact that it’s Brighton adds more spice, particularly for the fans.

‘A good chance to show that the last couple of performances are not what to expect from us.’

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