Crystal Palace have been boosted by the return of James McArthur

Crystal Palace have been boosted by the return of James McArthur much earlier than expected.

The Scotland international has not played for the club since suffering a tear to his ankle ligaments at the start of February. Since he is one of the important players for Palace, this was seen as a major blow to the club’s hopes of avoiding a relegation battle throughout the 2015-16 campaign. It was initially thought that the player will miss the rest of the season. However, he has made remarkable progress from the injury and could now be back in the first-team reckoning before the FA Cup semi-final against Watford.

Palace have a great opportunity to do something special in the FA Cup this season. The tie between Watford gives both teams enough opportunities to think about a place in the final. Winner of this game will be playing against either Everton or the winner between the Manchester United vs West Ham replay. Without the competitive nature of McArthur in the midfield, Palace have been slowly slipping down the table. They have not won a league match in 2016 and this form sees them just one place above the relegation zone. They have an even smaller buffer of seven points from Sunderland in the 18th place.

“It’s a slow injury and it’s taken its time to heal but the target is for me to be back in three weeks.I think it’s going to be tight, we’re trying to push it as much as we can but it’s got to be controlled as well.Obviously it’s been a disappointing run of results but it’s about trying to stay positive and believe that we’re a good enough team.It’s all about that one win and if we get that win it’ll take all the pressure off,” said McArthur.