March 2, 2018 / 10:32 AM / 5 months ago

Soccer: Loftus-Cheek inching closer to Palace return - Hodgson

(Reuters) - Crystal Palace midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is on the brink of returning to action from an ankle injury, the Premier League club’s manager Roy Hodgson said on Thursday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace vs Arsenal - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - December 28, 2017 Crystal Palace's Ruben Loftus-Cheek in action with Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

The 22-year-old, who signed for Palace on a season-long loan from Chelsea last July, made 16 league appearances for Hodgson’s side before sustaining the injury in December’s 3-2 defeat at home to Arsenal.

The England international, who returned to his parent club for a short period to help with his recovery, suffered a minor setback in training but Hodgson is hopeful that Loftus-Cheek will soon return.

“...In a training session where his ankle was being tested out with the U23s, he has managed in some way to pick up another very minor injury which now of course has to be treated before we get him back here,” Hodgson told reporters on Thursday.

“The good news was that the injury which has kept him out for a long period of time, the ankle, seems to be much better and he seems to be on the mend from that.

“We are hopeful that is not going to be a major issue and we are hopeful to see him back at Selhurst Park very soon.”

Palace, who are one place above the relegation zone on goal difference, host second-placed Manchester United in the league on Monday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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