McArthur cleared for semi return

Midfielder James McArthur is on course to be fit for Crystal Palace’s FA Cup semi-final against Watford, according to boss Alan Pardew.

Crystal Palace: McArthur cleared for semi returnCrystal Palace: McArthur cleared for semi return

The 28-year-old revealed earlier this week that he was making good progress from his ankle ligament injury and was hoping to be back in contention for the first team some time next month.

And now Pardew has confirmed he’s doing well and should be available for the big Wembley showdown on April 24 against the Hornets.

“We think James will make the semi-final which is great news,” Pardew said. “We are kicking him, pushing him, feeding him! This guy is one of the most conscientious footballers you could meet. He kind of lives and breathes the game.”

He added: “James McArthur is consuming. His fitness levels, where is he, he wants to play, he wants to get fit, he wants to do this, he wants to do that.

“That makes life a lot easier for our doctor and the physio team when you have a player of that type.

“It’s easier for someone like him to come back from this type of injury. He is fully focused on coming back; he’s in the gym and he wants to do things – anything he can do without harming his injury.

“He’s a great character and we have missed him so much. I can’t speak highly enough. He is also the only person in our squad with an FA Cup final medal, so he knows how to do it.”

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