Saturday’s 2-0 win for Crystal Palace lifted the pressure on the club for all sorts of reasons but there was one major setback for Roy Hodgson and his staff thanks to the ankle injury sustained by Jeffrey Schlupp in the opening stages of the first-half.
Having only recently returned from the ligament injury he sustained against Brighton back in January, the former Leicester man will feel desperately disappointed at the prospect of another lengthy spell on the treatment table but in truth, the tackle that took him to the turf did look to be an extremely painful one at first glance.
Following on from a truly fantastic performance in our 3-2 defeat at home to Manchester United, Jeff had produced another creditable display at the home of Champions Chelsea before being named in the starting line-up for our game against the Terriers on Saturday and had shown no physical signs of struggle before being clattered by the combative Aaron Mooy on the edge of the penalty area.
The Australian protested vehemently to Mike Dean in the seconds immediately after the free-kick was awarded but in truth, even the most partisan of observers would admit that it was at least a foul if not a booking in the cold light of day. To Schlupp’s credit, he did attempt to play on but soon gave in to the pain and was replaced by Yohan Cabaye, before being fully examined by the Palace medical staff.
Following on from the game, Hodgson admitted that the naturally left-sided man will require a full scan before we can be truly sure about the extent of the damage. Whilst Patrick van Aanholt has performed as well as ever over the last few weeks, I think I speak for most supporters when I say that Schlupp offers us a more cohesive defensive option than the Dutchman, leaving me concerned ahead of what will be a make or break climax to the Premier League season.
Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed.