Wilfried Zaha tested positive for Covid-19 ‘closer to the start of last week’, reveals Roy Hodgson – as Crystal Palace forward faces race to play against Newcastle on Friday

BY SAM SMITH

Roy Hodgson has revealed that Wilfried Zaha’s positive Covid-19 test came “closer to the start of last week” – with the forward facing a race to be able to return for their next Premier League game against Newcastle United.

The date of the test is crucial to knowing whether the forward will be available for the Eagles’ fixture against the Magpies on Friday.

Government guidelines insist that individuals who test positive should self-isolate for a 10-day period. Further Premier League rules state that a negative test should be returned before players and staff can begin training or playing again.

If Zaha tested positive on Monday or Tuesday last week, he could be in line to play against Newcastle providing that he tests negative beforehand. Any later and his chances of featuring will be cast into further doubt.

Hodgson said: “We’ve known about it for a few days. I can’t remember exactly when it was now, it was towards the start of last week that we’ve known about it.

“We didn’t want to go out and broadcast it to the world because we were hoping that a second test might have allowed him to play.

“He’s had to self-isolate and I’ve had to wait for that test to hopefully free him. He’s not particularly unwell, it’s just that he failed a test.”

Palace were without Zaha as they lost 1-0 to Burnley tonight. Chris Wood scored the only goal of the game after just seven minutes – while the Eagles missed a host of chances in the Ivorian’s absence.


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