Crystal Palace have no set timescale for Nathan Ferguson to be back in first-team contention.
The 20-year-old was signed by the Eagles in July but has played just once in 2020 – at the end of January – due to a knee problem.
Right-back Ferguson required surgery and it saw Palace abort a deal at the start of the year. The former West Brom youngster then penned a three-year contract in SE25.
Asked when he could be in the first-team picture for the Eagles, manager Roy Hodgson replied: “I can’t give you a clear answer to that. No-one can say at this moment in time.
“He seems to be making progress, there’s no doubt about that. He’s in training every day and he’s working with one of the rehabilitation guys. They are pleased with his progress, but it all boils down to whether we can push it on to involving situations where he’s going to have to twist and turn more and accept there are challenges around to deal with.
“The running he is doing at the moment is very controlled, so we’re making certain we don’t put pressure on the outside of the knee where – if it went wrong – it could possibly blow up and set him back in some ways.
“The latest prognosis from Nathan himself, who I talk to regularly, is he’s rather hoping that during this international break he’ll be pushing on faster and harder. Maybe after the international break he’ll be released a bit more into that competitive situation where the knee will get its full test.
“Unfortunately this happened before. He was making progress, we tried to push it on in a controlled, competitive manner but he got some pain in it, so he had to back off.
“Everyone at the club is very anxious now that we don’t spoil any of this good rehabilitation work that has been going on by thrusting him into a situation too early that the knee can’t handle it.”
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