Mamadou Sakho completed an hour of action tonight in south-west London, as he accelerated his return to fitness ahead of the Premier League opener in eleven days’ time.
Sakho last started for Palace in February, but his comeback is now well underway having made a brief appearance in the win over Bristol City last Saturday and tonight’s efforts at AFC Wimbledon.
Speaking post-match, he said: “I feel good and really happy. Step by step coming back I’m coming back.
“During the holiday, I’ve worked really hard. I had just ten days off - three days with my charity work [in Senegal], a week with my family – apart from that I worked really, really hard every day – training in Miami and in Dubai too.”
Sakho was a calming influence on a young back-four – all of whom are predominantly centre-backs - made up of the Frenchman, Sam Woods, Nik Tavares and new Academy recruit Lewis Hobbs at left-back. Sakho was removed after 61 minutes, but the side would concede in the 72nd and 91st minute as AFC Wimbledon snatched a draw in Palace's penultimate pre-season friendly.
He said: “I think it’s really important for the young players too – when they play with an experienced player like me. When I was younger I loved to play with more experienced players. It’s just what I try to do today, I was happy – the young lads, they give 100% today. I think all the squad played well – that’s the most important thing for me.”
Watch highlights and post-match reaction now on Palace TV on the club’s official app.