Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish hopes Connor Wickham can finally put a “dark time” behind him as he prepares to make his return.
The 25-year-old has not played a competitive game for the Eagles since picking up a serious knee injury in the 5-4 defeat to Swansea in November 2016 after suffering multiple setbacks in his recovery.
Palace have taken an extremely cautious approach to his rehabilitation since his latest setback and have been rewarded, with the former Sunderland man taking part in first-team training in recent weeks.
The next step on Wickham’s road to recovery comes on Thursday night, with boss Roy Hodgson naming him in his squad for a fundraising friendly against Dulwich Hamlet.
Having seen him go through a tough time trying to get back to full fitness, Parish has everything crossed that Wickham can finally get his Palace career back on track.
“Connor is coming back and we have all got our fingers crossed for him,” Parish told the Five Year Plan podcast.
“He is back in training and I have the odd text chat with him to give him a bit of encouragement – it has been a dark time for him.
“I know the roof will certainly come off at Selhurst Park when he comes back because he can give us a lot, along with Alex [Sorloth] and Jordan [Ayew].”