Crystal Palace have been given a considerable boost in their hopes of survival, with long-term absentee Connor Wickham returning to training following his 13-month injury lay-off.
The 24-year-old striker, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Swansea City back in November 2016, participated in a light training session on Tuesday. He is expected to make is long-awaited return to first team action next month.
Wickham signed with Palace back in 2015, in a £7m move from Sunderland, collecting nine goals and three assists in 34 appearances for the south London side, with injuries hindering his progression.
The Eagles have had to cope with only one fully fit natural front man so far this season, in Christian Benteke, with traditional winger Bakary Sako filling in when needed.
Despite these obstructions, Roy Hodgson has remarkably lifted his side from a scoreless 19th to 14th in the Premier League. Palace are now unbeaten in seven consecutive league games, with their latest victory a 3-0 triumph over an in-form Leicester City side.
Connor Wickham is back on the training pitches as he steps up his recovery from a long-term knee injury. The Eagles striker suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament back in Nov 2016 but is said to be targeting a return in the New Year. #CPFC pic.twitter.com/NqKVknG87q— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) December 20, 2017
Despite their changed fortunes, and indeed the return of Wickham, Hodgson is still purportedly in the market for another striker. His principal target is Besiktas marksman Cenk Tosun.
The 26 year old Turkish striker has been on fire so far this campaign, netting 13 goals in 22 games for the Black Eagles.
Tosun has been particularly impressive in the Champions League, with four goals and two assists in his six appearances, as the Turkish side have emerged as this season's surprise package in the competion.