After being named in the starting line-up for Sunday’s visit to Watford, Palace defender James Tomkins was forced out of contention with a calf problem roughly 30 minutes prior to kick-off, leaving Roy Hodgson with no choice but to draft in Martin Kelly.
When speaking to the press later on, the gaffer gave an update on the situation but admitted that until a scan is completed on the affected area, we’ll have no way of knowing how serious the issue is. By the sound of things, Tomkins was already aware of the problem in the build-up to the game but was sure that he could play through it, only realising late on that it was in fact more serious than first feared.
Whilst you would hope that his decision to sit the game out will mean he’s back to full fitness ahead of this weekend’s game against Southampton, tonight’s League Cup tie against Swansea leaves Roy Hodgson with something of a selection dilemma.
Although Martin Kelly came in and did well on Sunday, the prospect of him playing 270 minutes in the space of just six days is far from ideal. We can all hope that Tomkins has identified the calf problem early enough to stop it from keeping him out this weekend but given his injury history, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for feeling a tad apprehensive about his chances of starting Saturday’s meeting with Mark Hughes’ men.
Having spoken to a few West Ham fans at length when the deal for Kouyaté was officially announced, it sounds as though the Senegal international is more than capable of filling in at the back, giving us an added level of depth when compared to last season. Unfortunately, unless Hodgson intends to partner Cheikhou and Kelly at the back, it’s likely that both Martin and Mamadou Sakho will be playing three games in under seven days.
Hopefully we won’t be forced to contend with any further injury issues in the wake of tonight’s game, regardless of the final score.