Scotland internationalist James McArthur admits he is thrilled to have returned to action at Crystal Palace after fearing his season was over.
The 22-times capped midfielder came off the bench in the 66th minute of Palace’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday and is now hoping to be handed a start in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Watford at Wembley.
Former Hamilton and Wigan player McArthur initially thought his campaign had come to a premature end on February 2 after damaging ankle ligaments in a game against Bournemouth.
But, as well as returning to action for Alan Pardew’s side, McArthur will also now be in contention for Scotland’s friendlies against Italy and France in six weeks’ time.
He said: “I feel really good and so pleased to be back out there.
“It’s not good to be losing football matches but its good to be able to be out there and try and help the boys.
“It looked at one point as though my season was over but the physio team have been really great and pushed me all the way and its paid off for me being able to come on here in this game against Manchester United.
“From a personal point of view I just try and work as hard as I can in the gym and get myself fit, all the injured lads work hard together and push each other on to make sure that we get back as soon as possible.
“My aim was to try and get back in time for Sunday’s semi-final and its great to have had the chance to be involved in the game before that and now it will be up to the manager as to whether I will play any part on Sunday but it’s just great to be in this position of being available.”