Steve Parish says everyone at Crystal Palace needs to keep their feet on the ground as Connor Wickham continues his comeback.
The 25-year-old has not played a competitive game since November 2016 but got through 45 minutes of Thursday’s friendly against National League South side Dulwich Hamlet.
A goal for the former Ipswich and Sunderland man only added to the excitement but Roy Hodgson was keen to play things down in the aftermath.
That patience is likely a result of the number of previously aborted comebacks from setbacks that have included a serious knee injury and problems with both his calf and groin.
Parish and the club have stood by the forward throughout and while the chairman was excited to see the Hereford-born man back on the field, he says it is vital both the player and the club respect the fact it will take time for him to find full fitness.
He was quoted as saying by Football.London: “I am made up for him. He is a lovely lad and he has had a tough time. He is progressing really well and he looked hungry the other night, really sharp.
“But we have got to bring him back slowly and we can’t rush it, because we are going to need him between now and the end of the season, because he is a quality player.
“It will be like a new signing if he comes in, but we don’t want to heap too much pressure on him, because he has been out for a long time.
But it is a good opportunity for him.”