By Ben Dinnery

2nd Nov, 2021 | 6:00pm

Medical expert issues Eze injury fears after 'significant' Crystal Palace development

The Crystal Palace medical department must be careful not to “push too hard” as Eberechi Eze gradually returns from injury.

So says injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.

Playmaker Eze, who signed for Palace in the summer of 2020, has been undergoing rehab for an Achilles injury sustained back in May.

He made his long-awaited return to play when he turned out for Palace’s under-23 side last night (1 November).

The attacking midfielder played 60 minutes in a 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers Under-23s.

Dinnery talked up Eze’s progress but warned the staff behind the scenes at Palace not to rush him back to first-team action.

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“He’s doing really, really well,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“He has been with the main group for about 10 to 14 days now, so that tells us he’s been training well.

“This is the next step in the progression of being integrated back into competitive Premier League football.

“However, we need people to understand that a return to training is not a return to play.

“Playing for the under-23s is significant but certainly doesn’t mean a player will transition to the first team, particularly when he’s been out so long.

“The initial timeline was around that six-month period, so he has progressed as well as could be expected.

“But in this final phase of recovery, you don’t want to push too hard. That will have to be managed by the backroom staff.

“Eze will be looking at what’s happening on the pitch and seeing Palace playing really well and want to be a part of that.

“So he’ll probably have to be held back. He will be involved with the under-23s and some bounce games behind closed doors.

“I can’t see him being back until after the international break. After that, they’ll make the decisions on a game-by-game basis.”

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