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Loftus-Cheek could be back in action next week

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Let’s see if he comes back pain-free from his new fitness tests

West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

One week ago it was reported that Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s comeback from an ankle injury was interrupted by knee pain. He took a fitness test at Cobham and a day later reported discomfort.

His loan manager, Roy Hodgson, said at the time that he was hopeful it would be a temporary setback.

We’re about to find out.

RLC will have training sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If he passes those without more pain, he’ll be saying sayonara to Surrey.

“Then as long as he comes through those three sessions OK, which both we and he are hoping, he will have Sunday off and will come back [to Palace] on Monday and he will be available to us.

”The medical department have to look and speak with him but my hope is that he will come on Monday, walk into the treatment room, they will say ‘How you feeling Ruben?’ and he will say, ‘I’m feeling great, what time does training start?’

-Roy Hodgson; source: ESPN

The ankle injury that Loftus-Cheek is recovering from first felled him at the end of December. Since then the 22 year-old with a chequered injury history has been out of action.

With Palace in the throes of a major injury crisis, his return couldn’t be more welcomed by a cautiously optimistic Hodgson.

“That is what I am hoping for. I’ve had a few disappointments lately so I’ve learnt to lower my level of hope and optimism.’’

-Roy Hodgson; source: ESPN

There’s no telling how long it would take Ruben to get back up to speed and into Palace’s lineup. Given that he was a valued regular when he was healthy and given the Eagles’ need for bodies, it’s safe to guess that the answer is sooner rather than later.

England v Germany - International Friendly Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Which would suit RLC just fine. He has another manager he wants to impress too.

That would be England’s Gareth Southgate. In November he saw the Chelsea product deliver a Man of the Match performance in a friendly against Germany. After shining like that at Wembley, Ruben will surely be hoping that he can snag a place on England’s World Cup squad this summer.

If he’s fit in time for Liverpool at the end of this month, he’d have seven matches to catch the gaffer’s eye and book a trip to Russia.