Jason Puncheon available to play for Crystal Palace despite weapon charge

Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon tries to tackle Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas
The midfielder has made nine Premier League appearances this season

Crystal Palace captain Jason Puncheon is available for selection despite being charged with assault and carrying a weapon, manager Roy Hodgson has said.

Puncheon, 31, was arrested in the early hours of Sunday following a fight near a nightclub in Surrey, before being charged and released on bail on Monday.

Palace face Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday at 15:00 GMT.

The club will "wait until the police investigation is completed" before taking any action, Hodgson said.

"If any action is necessary then we will take it - at the moment he is club captain and he remains available for selection."

Midfielder Puncheon is due to appear at Guildford Magistrates' Court on 5 January.

He has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon, common assault and a public order offence of causing fear or provocation of violence.

"When it's made clear to us what the police know and he has had his trial then we will decide what action to take," said Hodgson.

"In the mean time we are presuming his innocence until such time he is proven guilty of any crime."

The manager added that he and Eagles chairman Steve Parish had spoken to the player and decided he was in the right frame of mind to play.

"He has made it clear to me he is determined to make himself available to do the very best job he can as a captain and player for the club whilst this matter is being sorted out," Hodgson said.

Puncheon has made nine Premier League appearances for Palace this season. The Eagles are currently 14th, two points above the relegation zone.

Top Stories