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First Team

Roy Gives Zaha Update

8 March 2018

Roy Hodgson revealed at his pre-match press conference previewing Saturday’s match away at Chelsea, that Wilfried Zaha took part in a “modified” training session today with the first team squad.

There was no confirmation as to whether he will be involved in Saturday's fixture at Stamford Bridge but Hodgson has been delighted with the speed of the player's recovery. 

"He was able to join in with the team for the first time in a modified session, it's enormous progress considering he is so far ahead of schedule. We are very happy that his progress has been as vast as it has been but we have to be careful as it was a serious injury and under normal circumstances we wouldn't have expected him to be back so quickly.  We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and whether he is able to train with the team again which will also be a light session. It’s a remarkable recovery and we have to be very careful to make certain that we don't suddenly think because he is able to take part in two modified training sessions that he will be able to come back like the Wilf Zaha he was before the injury.”

The manager did stress that he doesn't want to rush him back too soon so will be patient before making the decision to select him once again. 

"It's very dangerous to ask football players 'what do you think' because they will give you the answer that suits them at the time and if they are the type of guys who want to play, they will say 'I am ok' but sometimes you can do a lot of damage by accepting that answer if it doesn't tie in with what everyone else at the club thinks is right for them at this moment in time. I will be pleased to see him back as quickly as has happened so that is a major positive and it's all credit really to both him and the medical staff we have here because inititally people were talking about him being out until the end of the season rather than six weeks. 

"All teams rely upon their decisive players, so when you have a player out for any length of time and you are missing them there's always a risk you'll push for him to come back earlier than he should. That's the balance I've got to get right."

Hodgson added that defender Mamadou Sakho is also set to join in a light training session on Friday and a decision will then be taken on when he will be ready for action in the Premier League. 

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