Jeffrey Schlupp missed the end of last season through injury, but played today against BSC Young Boys for a full 90 minutes as he capped off an intense summer of recovery.
The Ghanaian midfielder revealed to Palace TV after the clash this afternoon that he was kept out due to torn ligaments in his ankle, but that he is returning to fitness well and has been boosted by the focussed efforts of the physio, training and medical teams while away on tour.
“I tore some ligaments in my ankle against Man City towards the end of the season,” he said. “I had a lot of work in the summer and managed to get it right. I felt really good today getting through that 90 minutes and everything else is obviously a bonus. We managed to get a good week this week in Switzerland and I’m looking forward to working hard and getting some more minutes.”
The challenge facing Palace today was always going to be a difficult one, with Young Boys at their end of their pre-season preparations and the Eagles just starting out.
Schlupp explained, however, that in spite of the test he and his teammates faced this afternoon, he was grateful to be facing a trialling opponent.
He said: “You’ve got to put yourself against realistic opposition. No disrespect to anyone but when you’re playing against a side like Young Boys you know you’re going to have to work hard; it’s going to be a tough challenge.
“They’re three weeks ahead of us and are just a week off their season. They’re competing every year as well [in the Uhrencup]. We knew it was going to be a tough test but it’s always worth taking experiences from tough games. You get more out of them than when you win a game 8-0 for example.”
To hear more from Schlupp as well as Joel Ward and Roy Hodgson and free highlights of the clash later tonight, make sure to keep an eye on Palace TV either by clicking here or ‘Palace TV’ in the official Palace app.