sport

Murray closing in on return

Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray is expected to return to action next month after a long spell out with a serious knee injury.

The 30-year-old played a pivotal role in Palace's promotion push last season, scoring 31 goals in all competitions before coming to grief in the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Brighton.

Murray, who signed a new three-year deal in March, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament against his former club at Selhurst Park in May.

He has undergone a long and ardous rehabilitation programme, and Eagles manager Tony Pulis expects Murray to return to full training next week.

Pulis told the Croydon Advertiser: "Glenn will be another week before he joins in with us for full training.

"I would say he's about two or three weeks off.

"It would have been lovely to have him back earlier but that's not been the case, and we certainly do need some presence up front."

Meanwhile, Palace defender Jack Hunt has stepped up his recovery from a broken ankle by returning to full training.

The 23-year-old full-back joined Palace in a 2m switch from Huddersfield Town in the summer, but is yet to play a game for the Eagles after suffering the injury in training.

Hunt is finally edging closer to his comeback and will give Pulis a fresh defensive option as he attempts to steer Palace out of the drop-zone.

Club physiotherapist Alex Manos said: "Jack had a couple of complications, which have just resolved themselves and he's due to hopefully join in training towards the end of the week.

"He's been keeping up his fitness work and it's just a case of getting a couple of good sessions under his belt out on the pitch, such as some positional-specific work.

"He's looking good and hopefully it won't be too long before he's back."