By 90Min
March 28, 2018

Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham has edged closer to his first team return, playing and scoring in the U-23's recent victory over Charlton.

The 24-year-old has been out for 17 months since suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in his knee in a 5-4 defeat to Swansea and is finally nearly back.

He returned to football earlier this month and finally got back on the score sheet in a 3-2 win which moved the Under-23 side closer to winning their respective league.

Wickham said alongside his Instagram picture that he is feeling 'solid and ready.' Crystal Palace fans will feel his return cannot come soon enough, as he has a reputation for scoring goals when they are most needed.

In 2014, during his time with Sunderland, Wickham was thrown in at the deep end under Gus Poyet and produced a fine run of form at the end of the season which contributed massively to the Black Cats Premier League survival.

Palace are currently in a similar predicament. With just seven games to go, the Eagles sit two points off the relegation zone and the two teams below them also have games in hand.

Stephen Pond/GettyImages

Current striker Christian Benteke is struggling to produce the goods this season and manager Roy Hodgson will surely be tempted to give Wickham a chance if he can prove he is back to full fitness.

Benteke has scored just two Premier League goals this season and if Wickham is given a run in the team, he may well eclipse his teammates total within weeks, and could be the man to save Palace's season.

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