Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham hopes he will “be in a position to start playing again in a couple of months.”
Wickham sustained a cruciate knee ligament tear in November 2016 in Crystal Palace’s 5-4 loss away to Swansea. When speaking at the Crystal Palace ‘Fanzone’ before their match against West Ham at the weekend, he spoke about his rehab since the injury, revealing that: “Generally rehab is going well, there have been a couple of hiccups along the way.”
Recovering from a long-term injury as a footballer can be mentally challenging, being separated from the group is not what any player wants. Wickham admitted: “It’s been difficult for me personally and I have had to learn to deal with the amount of time I have had to be missing but this has seen me have to develop as a person
“I am sure it has made me a lot stronger whilst feeling every single emotion you can whilst being out injured but it is coming to an end now and hopefully I will be able to be in a position to start playing again in a couple of months.”
The 24 year old spoke of how during his lengthy spell on the sidelines, teammate Pape Souaré, who had endured a horrendous car accident two months before Wickham’s injury, was a source of motivation in the gym as they recovered together: “When I saw the state of his car after the road accident I honestly didn’t think he would play football again but watching every single day of his rehab; he worked so hard which was a real inspiration during the difficult times for me.”
Souaré has since returned to training with the first team and made two appearances in the Carabao Cup, as the manager Roy Hodgson eases him back into the intensity of English football. The pair combined to score one of the most significant goals of Palace’s recent history, when Wickham nodded in a Souaré cross against Watford in a 2016 FA Cup semi-final.
Eagles fans will be hoping to see them recreate something similar in the coming months.