Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson admits his side are in the thick of a “serious injury crisis” with midfielder Eberechi Eze becoming the latest player set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Eze’s hamstring issue ruled him out of selection for Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad after he featured last month, with the 25-year-old joining an ever-growing list of Palace players unavailable for Saturday’s home encounter with Nottingham Forest.
Despite the latest blow, Hodgson made clear he had no intention of courting pity, pointing to the bigger picture as he sought to assure concerned supporters.
“We happen to be in the middle of quite a serious injury crisis at the moment, but we have to learn to deal with it and accept the situation and look forward to the time when our squad is bigger again when these players return.
“OK, it’s not going to be in the next week or two, but the season doesn’t end until May so we have to keep that in mind as well.”
Palace sit ninth in the Premier League table after seven matches and enter Saturday’s contest bolstered by their 1-0 victory over Manchester United last time out, with defender Joachim Andersen providing the decisive strike.
Hodgson, aware of his dwindling resources, said: “We are going to be dependent now, really, on the players who have come in to take their places in doing a good job, which to be fair they have been doing.
“I’m very satisfied with the way the team has been playing, and we’re a squad, so there is no point complaining about injuries. They do happen and you must never feel sorry for yourself.
“One or two of the players who have come in, in the last two or three weeks, who have not necessarily played from the start, have come in and done exceptionally well. That is the way we have got to look at it.”
Michael Olise, among Hodgson’s other key attackers, has not played this season as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury of his own, while summer signing Jefferson Lerma – also out with same problem – remains ruled out.
Odsonne Edouard, yet another member of Palace’s hamstring woe-club, has progressed and could start against Forest at Selhurst Park, while Brazilian Matheus Franca is still working his way back to match fitness, but is “no longer injured”.
Dean Henderson, James Tomkins and Naouirou Ahamada all remain unavailable.