Wilfried Zaha was seen leaving FC Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium on crutches with his left foot in a protective boot following last night’s 2-0 friendly win.
The winger was in fine form for the entirety of his stay on the pitch, enjoying the battle he had with the Cincinnati right-back throughout, but having given Palace a deserved 2-0 lead just minutes earlier, the academy graduate rolled his ankle when being brought down on the left flank, leaving the field immediately before hobbling over to the dugouts with club physio Alex Manos for company.
The injury brought to an end what was unquestionably a Man Of The Match performance from Zaha, who looked to relish the opportunity to pull off a wide array of flicks and tricks in front of a bumper crowd of 35,061. Taking on his marker at will, he was a constant thorn in Cincinnati’s side and will no doubt hope to take that fine display with him as he moves forward this summer.
There is every chance that the arrival of Andros Townsend, who is known as an extremely direct and productive winger, has had an impact on the mindset of Zaha, who could well learn from the no-nonsense approach of his new teammate when it comes to scoring goals and providing assists; indeed, the two linked up beautifully in the moments before Wilfried doubled the Eagles lead with a supremely composed strike into the bottom right-hand corner of the hosts’ goal.
When speaking to Chris Grierson just after the final whistle, Alan Pardew made a point of stating that Zaha had just rolled his ankle and the swelling was expected to subside over the next day or so, but given the timing of the interview, it’s difficult to know whether or not the gaffer was fully aware of the extent of the knock Wilf had sustained.
Hopefully the boot and crutches are just a precaution ahead of a couple of days rest for the fan-favourite, ahead of his return to action when the team return to these shores following the upcoming clash in Vancouver against the Whitecaps.
If there are any further developments on Zaha’s well-being we’ll be sure to let you know.