​Crystal Palace have been boosted by news that defender Jeffrey Schlupp is close to a return to full fitness.

The full-back has been absent since the start of January with an ankle injury and is expected to make a comeback in March.

He posted images to his Instagram account on Wednesday revealing that he has returned to training.

Schlupp wrote alongside one of the images: "Can't wait to get out there again!"

The 25-year-old's return to action will provide a welcome boost for Palace boss Roy Hodgson, who is still without winger Wilfried Zaha.

Schlupp's versatility could prove useful and he may be required to fill in for Zaha on the left of midfield.

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The Ghanaian international is one of a number of Palace players to have been absent with injury in recent weeks, and Hodgson earlier this month bemoaned the club's misfortune.

“A lot of teams can talk about the number of players they have injured at any one time, but a lot of those injuries are muscle injuries," he said.

“I think it’s very unusual to have as many as five players out, basically for the rest of the season. We already lost [Christian] Benteke for six weeks, [Wilfried] Zaha six weeks, Mamadou Sakho seven weeks, Schlupp eight to ten weeks.


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"Five players out for the rest of the season – I think that’s a very unusual situation to find ourselves in.

"All of them are trauma injuries – none are due to muscle strains or pulls, they’re all cruciate ligaments, medial ligaments and fractures.”