Eagles boss Neil Warnock has suggested that striker Marouane Chamkah could feature against Everton after missing the past three weeks with a hamstring injury, but is reluctant to rush him back too soon.
Speaking his his weekly press conference ahead of Sunday's game at Goodison Park, the Eagles manager revealed the forward is closing in on a return but he is cautious about aggravating the injury and seeing the Moroccan forward miss further matches.
He said: “It’s only been three weeks for Chamakh. He is an important player for us so I don’t want to take a chance if it means there’s a risk of losing him for six weeks.
“He's still got a chance, he’s trained the last two days and hasn't felt anything but you've got to be ever so careful."
Should Chamakh not make the game on the weekend, he could play against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup next Wednesday and after that game the Eagles manager will make a decision on those players looking for first-team football out on loan.
“The Newcastle game next Wednesday will be the test for the fringe players, but I want to see them before I let them go," he added.
"We can lend them for three months but have them back after 28 days, and with October and November having international breaks they’re only going to miss a couple of games and then we can have them back but at the same time keeping them fit by playing. I think it’s a good thing, they need games.”
The Eagles are aiming to pick up their first victory of the Premier League season but Everton are full of encouragement after their European success last night, where they won 4-1 against Wolfsburg.
That performance led to plenty of praise from Warnock, who believes that they won't suffer from a European hangover.
“I don’t think Everton will rotate and as you could see last night, Roberto has taken it all on board. They love to win competitions.
“The thing about Everton are that all the players have their feet on the ground and no one is above themselves.”