Crystal Palace boss won’t be pinned down on return date for Eberechi Eze

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira does not want to give a date for the possible return of midfielder Eberechi Eze.

The 23-year-old shone last season for the Eagles under Roy Hodgson, scoring four goals and providing six assists, has returned to first-team training after he suffered an Achilles injury before the penultimate game of last season.

Despite returning to full training ahead of schedule, with the suggestion that Eze’s injury could have kept him out until 2022, Vieira has insisted that there is no pressure to rush the midfielder back to first team action.

“He’s really just started training with the team, and he hasn’t done a full session yet. So it’s really not the time to give a date for when he will be back on the bench or on the field in a game. We are going to have to re-evaluate his progression week after week,” said Vieira.

“We are all excited to see him come back on the field, and he is working really well, but we don’t want to put any pressure on ourselves, or on him, to jump the protocol we have in place for him.”

January sees potentially three of Palace’s forward players depart to play in the Africa Cup of Nations – Wilfried Zaha, Jeffrey Schlupp and Jordan Ayew are set to participate in the tournament.

“No, I am not thinking about that at all,” said Vieira when asked if January was a target to bring Eze back into the first team fold.

“It’s just the protocol that has been put in place with the medical staff. We will follow it, and there is no date for when he will be back in action for us. It’s just about week after week re-evaluating his progression, see where he will be, and then take a decision on that.”



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