Scotland midfielder James McArthur has handed club and country a huge boost after returning to training for the first time since tearing ankle ligaments ten weeks ago.
The Crystal Palace playmaker initially feared that his season could be over after sustaining the injury during the February 2 defeat to Bournemouth.
But McArthur could make his comeback for the Eagles in next Wednesday’s Premier League trip to Manchester United, just four days before Alan Pardew’s side face Watford in a FA Cup semi-final.
The former Hamilton and Wigan player’s imminent return will also be welcomed by national team manager Gordon Strachan ahead of Scotland’s final World Cup qualifying warm-up matches against Italy and France on May 29 and June 4 respectively.
Pardew said: “McArthur is very close, he’s training with us now and, if all goes well, he could feature in the Man United game – and that will be a huge boost for us before the FA Cup semi-final. We’ve really missed him.”