Connor Wickham targets quick Crystal Palace return after injury layoff

Selhurst Park - Crystal Palace - 23/02/2014

The striker featured for the development squad on Tuesday and is now targeting a first-team place as soon as possible.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham has expressed his delight after returning from injury.

The forward has been missing since the 2-1 away victory at Chelsea at the end of August, with a niggling calf injury having seem him sit out the Eagles' last nine games in all competitions.

He returned to fitness recently, though, and featured for the development side on Tuesday afternoon as they took on Bristol City, managing to get 60 minutes under his belt.

And he says it felt good to be back having missed such a prolonged period at the beginning of the campaign.

"On a personal note, it was good for me to be back out there," he told

"It felt good, I felt good. Obviously, I'm not as fit or as sharp as I will be in a few weeks time, but it's all just a work in progress and I'm happy to be back."

Despite admitting that he is far from being as sharp as he would like to be, Wickham insisted that he will be able to return to the first-team in the near future.

He has been sorely missed in his absence, with fellow forward Dwight Gayle having failed to make a serious impact in the position when given the chance.

Alan Pardew has also used Yannick Bolasie in the position to little effect, so the return of Wickham will be a boost, and he is looking to come back into contention as soon as possible.

"Straight away,” he added when asked when he thinks he’ll be ready to return.

"I'm back playing because I'm fit. I'm injury-free, touch wood, hopefully [I'll be back soon] - the sooner the better."

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