Hodgson’s squad was plagued by injuries before the international break, leaving him with significant selection headaches, but the situation is improving.
Jefferson Lerma and Cheick Doucoure are set to return to the Palace line-up after recovering from hamstring injuries.
Matheus Franca, signed from Flamengo during the summer, is poised to make his long-awaited debut for Palace.
Joel Ward has overcome a groin strain, and Naouirou Ahamada and Jairo Riedewald are back in action after recovering from minor knocks.
However, there are still some key absentees, including Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, who remain sidelined with hamstring strains.
James Tomkins has been sidelined with a fresh calf problem, and Jeffrey Schlupp is unavailable due to a muscle strain sustained during a recent match against Nottingham Forest.
During his pre-match press conference ahead of the Newcastle tie, Hodgson expressed his relief at the improved injury situation.
He said (via Palace’s official website): “It is better news. We’re down now really to Olise, Eze, Dean Henderson and Jeff Schlupp.”
He also noted the progress of Nathan Ferguson, who is gradually returning to fitness by playing for the Under-21s.
Hodgson refrained from providing specific timelines for the injured players’ return.
As for Eze and Olise, he revealed that they were making good progress but emphasised the caution exercised by the medical department in determining when they can return to Premier League action.
The reduction in the injury list brings relief for Hodgson, who faced an uphill challenge due to the absence of several key players in the lead-up to the international break, even though he remained positive through the challenge.
As the team inches closer to full strength, Palace fans and Hodgson will hope for a good showing when they travel to St James’ Park.
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