Partway through the opening 45 minutes of England’s friendly against Brazil at Wembley last night, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was taken off with a knock, casting doubt over his involvement in Palace’s clash with Everton at Selhurst Park this weekend.
Having earned rave reviews from all corners for his Man of the Match display against Germany last Friday, plenty were hoping to see another eye-catching performance from him on Tuesday evening but the man on loan from Chelsea only managed to complete 35 minutes before being replaced by Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard.
The 21-year-old is known to have been struggling with a recurring back problem over the last year or so and even though he left the pitch under his own steam, all signs point towards him having aggravated it once again.
With this Saturday’s visit from David Unsworth’s Toffee’s an undeniably massive game for the club in their battle against the drop, the presence of a fit and confident Loftus-Cheek would have been a real boost but it’s difficult to imagine the Chelsea man now being given the go-ahead to start.
I mentioned yesterday how little time Ruben, Zaha, Cabaye and Benteke had spent on the pitch together since the start of this campaign and now, it looks as though we may be forced to wait a little longer to see the four of them taking the field together. To outsiders it may sound like nothing more than pointless whinging but for a squad that has very few top class players in its ranks, the delay in getting four of our most talented recruits firing together is really having a detrimental effect on our chances of survival.
Hopefully the rest of the midfield remain injury free between now and Saturday afternoon minimising the disruption to our tactical planning ahead of a huge tie.
I’m keeping everything crossed for a miraculous recovery.