Roy Hodgson bemoaned the growing injury list at Crystal Palace after star winger Wilfried Zaha was ruled out with a knee problem.
Wilfried Zaha will not be out for the rest of the season, but Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson expects to be without the winger for a month.
Zaha sustained a knee injury during a Premier League draw at home to Newcastle United on Sunday, joining a cluster of Palace players in the treatment room.
Palace have already seen Bakary Sako ruled out for the rest of the season, while captain Jason Puncheon is on the sidelines with goalkeeper Julian Speroni, forward Connor Wickham and defenders Scott Dann and Martin Kelly.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has returned to parent club Chelsea for treatment after the on-loan England midfielder missed six weeks with an ankle injury and Hodgson is growing increasingly frustrated by injuries limiting his options.
“If he [Zaha] recovered in a week or two it would be a fantastic effort, but it’s more realistic we’d have to wait a month for him,” Hodgson told reporters on Thursday. “It’s not certain.
“The good news for us is that he is a very quick healer, he and the medical staff will work very hard to get him back on the field as soon as possible.
“We know he will definitely not play against Everton [in the Premier League on Saturday], that’s for sure, and it might even take a week or two more than that.
“We have got an international break coming up and a break next week for the FA Cup so we are hoping it will not be as long as all that and we will have to take it on a match by match basis and get him back on the field as soon as we possibly can.
“I can certainly deny the rumours that he will be out for the rest of the season as he will be back before that.”
Palace have only lost two Premier League games since November – both defeats coming against Arsenal – to ease away from the relegation zone, the Eagles building a three-point cushion from the bottom three, but Hodgson accepts injuries are taking their toll on his side.
“Quite frankly I can’t remember a time when I’ve had this many players injured at a club,” the 70-year-old said. “These things happen.
“We certainly haven’t been too lucky of late with injury, but the players have kept battling on and will try to get results. We won’t feel sorry for ourselves or make excuses. I believe in the 11 I put on to the field.
“[January signing] Alexander Sorloth is certainly ready to play and will certainly be involved in the squad again this weekend.
“The ability to win two games in a row is vital. Wins are hard to find if you’re not one of the top teams and finding them back to back is even harder. Two wins can lift you considerably.
“To pick up 27 points from those 19 games [since Hodgson replaced Frank de Boer] is a testament to how hard we’ve worked. We need to keep up that points tally in the final 12 games.
“I can’t remember a Premier League relegation battle like this. This year there doesn’t seem to be a real middle of the table.”