Graham Potter provides honest assessment of Jose Izquierdo recovery ahead of Crystal Palace

Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo continues to make tentative steps back to full fitness after 18 months out with a serious knee injury
Jose Izquierdo will likely play for the under-23s against Liverpool under-23s todayJose Izquierdo will likely play for the under-23s against Liverpool under-23s today
Jose Izquierdo will likely play for the under-23s against Liverpool under-23s today

When Izquierdo latched on to a long through ball last week and expertly lobbed the advancing keeper, it sealed a 3-2 victory for Brighton under 23s at West Ham.

It also gave a timely reminder of the Colombian's match-winning talents and briefly showed what Albion fans have been missing for the last 18 months.

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It was another small step on the long and arduous road to recovery for Izquierdo, who has been training with Graham Potter's first team squad and is set to feature for the under-23s once again today as Albion welcome Liverpool's under-23s.

It's the first time Potter has been able to work with the 28-year-old winger since the head coach arrived from Swansea in November 2019.

Potter has been pleased with what he has seen so far but stressed the importance of taking it slowly with the player who joined from Club Brugge in August 2017 for £13.5m.

"At the moment I would not want to judge him too much as he is at such an early stage of getting back to 90 minutes of football with big pitches and big areas," said Potter.

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"What I have seen is that he is able to take the ball and is good in one-v-one situations. He wants to make an impact on the goal, wants to assist or score or do something.

"He has that personality and he has that ability. The more we see of him in those bigger spaces and bigger areas, the more you can get a better understanding of how he has been impacted by his injury or how he needs to adapt his game.

"It is quite complex when he has been out for so long so we just have to take those steps slowly and help him in the right way."

A fully fit Izquierdo is a player who could offer a different attacking option for Potter but this Sunday's match at Crystal Palace will arrive too soon for a first team return.

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Potter is however hopeful that flying wing back Tariq Lamptey, who tweaked his hamstring during the 4-2 loss at Everton, will be available.

Dutch midfielder Davy Propper has not featured in the Premier League this season due to an Achilles problem will also have his fitness assessed ahead of kick-off.

Brighton will however be without the attacking threat of Alireza Jahanbakhsh who is set to miss out with a thigh injury.

"There is a slight muscular problem with Ali that kept him out of the Everton game," said Potter. "He has not trained with the group this week.

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"It is looking as though Palace might come too soon. We will see how it goes but we will certainly not rush. He's making progress but it could be more West Brom rather than Crystal Palace."

Striker Aaron Connolly is also having treatment on a wrist injury and a jarred neck picked-up while on international duty with Ireland.