“It’s quite good news really,” said a positive Hodgson at his pre-match press conference. “[Zaha] has returned to training, albeit a little bit modified, at the start of this week. But he looks ready to go again.
“We’ll have to wait for the green light from the doctor and the medical staff, but it’s looking positive. I think I’ll be able to work him back into the squad very soon.”
Further reinforcements are set to arrive for Hodgson, as Jeffrey Schlupp and Connor Wickham have also returned to training.
“While we’re talking about positive news, I’m happy that Jeff Schlupp and Connor Wickham have recovered and will be available for me too,” he said.
“I’m optimistic that both of those players will be back for me very soon – they will be available even for tomorrow evening.”
Hodgson also revealed that Nathan Ferguson is recovering well, and could be set to join first-team training soon.
“It was Nathan Ferguson’s first day training with the squad on Monday,” he revealed. “But it will be the Under-23s squad for the first couple of weeks because we don’t want to thrust him straight into the first-team squad in case he does any further damage.
“So we’ll give him two weeks in the U23s before he comes up here.”
Hodgson provided updates on a number of players that remain on the sidelines, and will miss the visit of Man Utd.
“Wilf, James McArthur, James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho at the minute are missing,” he explained. “Unfortunately we’re also missing Nathaniel Clyne and Tyrick Mitchell with minor injuries that will keep them out for a week or two.
“As for James McArthur, we may have to wait until the international break until we see him.”