A rejuvenated Jonny Parr is ready to step straight back in to the Crystal Palace team and help plug their leaky Premier League defence.
The Norwegian’s appearance on the bench at Southampton on Saturday was the first time he has made a matchday squad since April 16 – when he injured ankle ligaments against Ipswich Town.
In the five months since then, he has had to watch from the sidelines as first the Eagles gained promotion via the Championship play-off final in May and then began a stuttering start to life in England’s top tier.
Palace are yet to keep a clean sheet and have conceded 10 goals in six games, but the returning Parr will hope to change that statistic if he gets his first taste of Premier League action at Liverpool this Saturday.
“I am fully back now and ready to start games, it is just up to the gaffer who he wants to pick,” he said.
“It was great to be back in the squad and on the bench at Southampton – it is a step in the right direction.
“I always knew it was going to take some time with a serious injury like the one I had but I just tried to work hard and get back.
“You are going to get injuries, sometimes that it just how it goes. You just have to try and take it in the right way when you do get one and train and do everything right.
“Now I am just looking forward to playing and helping the team to get some points.
“I think our first few games have been alright. We struggled against Swansea, but aside from that it has been pretty close in all of the games and we have just not had that luck.”
Parr remained on the bench for the game at St Mary’s, where two quickfire goals from Dani Osvaldo and Rickie Lambert handed the Eagles a 2-0 defeat, their fifth defeat from six games.
It is the fourth match in which Palace have failed to find the net, but when they did get a chance on Saturday, Marouane Chamakh was booked for diving as he went around Saints goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
The Moroccan has insisted there was contact, but manager was disappointed in the striker, with Parr remaining on the fence.
“It wasn’t easy for me to see, but I think there was contact, I haven’t really seen it though,” he said.
Despite his return to fitness, Parr will not be lining up for Norway next week when they face two crucial World Cup qualifiers – knowing they must beat Slovenia and Iceland to claim a play-off place in Group E.
“We still have a small chance to qualify and we just have to go and win those two games,” said Parr.
“I need to get some games before I can be picked for the national side and these are too early for me.
“I have to concentrate on Crystal Palace and getting used to playing again first.”