Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek may well need season-ending surgery on an ankle injury that has so far not responded to treatment according to Palace boss Roy Hodgson.
The 21-year-old had been starting to really make a name for himself in the heart of the Palace midfield, working beautifully in tandem with Wilfried Zaha to create all sorts of problems for the opposition but after sitting on the sidelines for a few weeks already, former England boss Hodgson is now worried that Ruben’s chances of making the Three Lions’ World Cup squad are now being thrown into doubt.
It’s a hugely bitter blow for us as a squad, having already lost Scott Dann and Jason Puncheon for the rest of the campaign and Jeffrey Schlupp until April at the earliest but it does at least make some sense of the stories linking us with a six-month loan deal for Benfica’s 21-year-old midfielder Erdal Rakip.
Whilst I would love to see Ruben pulling on a red and blue shirt again, (hopefully on a full-time basis) there seems little point in keeping at the club for the remainder of the season if he does indeed require surgery on his ankle, given the fact that his return to Chelsea would free up another Premier League loan slot alongside Manchester United’s Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
It’s difficult to comprehend just how unlucky Roy Hodgson has been with injuries since first stepping foot in the Selhurst Park dugout. Alongside the aforementioned crocked foursome, he’s also gone without Mamadou Sakho and Joel Ward for long periods, not to mention the fact that he’s only had one fit out-and-out striker at his disposal from the minute he walked through the door. Factoring all of that in, the job he’s done to date is nothing short of miraculous in my book.
During yesterday’s press conference, Roy described the last year for Palace as “a mess” before stating that he believed the future outlook to be far sunnier for us, should we be able to avoid the threat of relegation in May. If we do manage to stay up and keep both he and Ray Lewington on board for the 2018/19 campaign, I can’t help but agree with his sentiments.
As things stand, that pairing have my complete backing in everything they’re trying to do. Let’s just hope they get a change of fortunes on the injury front.