Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has expressed hope that Wilfried Zaha will be fit to take part in the club's FA Cup final appearance against Manchester United on 21 May. The tricky winger sustained a muscle injury prior to last month's semi-final meeting with Watford, but later impressed and played the full 90 minutes of a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Wembley.
Zaha was subsequently omitted from the squad that were beaten by relegation battlers Newcastle United last time out, with Pardew revealing the player was suffering from a problem high up on his buttocks that may have been affecting his hamstring. The 23-year-old has also been dealing with a shoulder issue of late and will not be risked for this weekend's visit of Stoke City with Palace now clear of relegation danger. Captain Mile Jedinak is also a doubt, while Yannick Bolasie is dealing with an illness.
"Wilf still has a bit of a problem, but should be fine by the final," Pardew told reporters at a pre-match press conference. "Bolasie is sick so we're waiting on him and Mile has a slight knock.
"Wilf's a naturally fit guy. He did the injury before the semi-final and he monitored him afterwards and saw there was a slight tear. There's no way Wilf will play this weekend, we don't want to risk him. But he may play at Southampton."
Pardew also addressed recent stinging criticisms from Palace winger Chung-Yong Lee, who was last week quoted by South Korean publication Sport Seoul as saying that his manager ran the team with a "very short-term vision" and was so hot-tempered during matches that he once had to be reminded how many substitutes he had left. The former Bolton Wanderers stalwart also bemoaned the decision to make him train all week only to leave him out on a matchday as "absurd" and claimed that he had no reason to stay at Selhurst Park next season.
"He said it was lost in translation, but some of what [Chung] said wasn't lost in translation and he'll be fined for that," Pardew confirmed.