Crystal Palace have received a significant injury boost ahead of Friday’s Premier League trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, with manager Roy Hodgson confirming that five first-team players have returned to full fitness.
Defenders Gary Cahill and James Tomkins, who were both out with thigh injuries, are available for the game at Molineux, while striker Jordan Ayew and new goalkeeper Jack Butland are back after self-isolating following positive tests for COVID-19.
Central midfielder James McCarthy is also back in training after picking up an injury on international duty with Ireland.
“We just need to assess Tyrick Mitchell before tomorrow who picked up a knock yesterday and Joel Ward,” Hodgson told reporters on Thursday. “But I’m not making too many complaints, the squad is as big and competitive as I’ve seen it.
“I’m just trying to keep everybody as happy as possible. It might be the first time I’ve had to leave people out of an 18-man squad – that really is an unusual situation.”
Palace beat basement side Fulham 2-1 away last weekend and Hodgson said he expected a tight contest against Wolves, who are unbeaten in their last three Premier League games and ninth in the table, one place below Palace but level on points.
“We’re expecting a very, very tough game. It’s nice to go there with 10 points and a bit of confidence, but so have they,” Hodgson said.
“We do know they have the ability to put you under the cosh for a long period of time, and it will be up to us to produce the quality to relieve that pressure.”