Crystal Palace suffer injury blow ahead of Burnley clash

An injured Joel Ward of Crystal Palace walk of the pitch during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park on November 23, 2019 in London, United...

Crystal Palace failed to replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the summer.

An injured Joel Ward of Crystal Palace walks of the pitch during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park on November 23, 2019 in London, United...

Roy Hodgson spoke to Football.London and confirmed that defender Joel Ward will be out of action for several weeks due to a knee injury.

The former Portsmouth defender was withdrawn after 70 minutes against Liverpool after suffering ablow to his knee during a tackle near the touchline. Ward's injury is a worrying sign for the Eagles as they near the busy Christmas period with just Martin Kelly as the club's only other recognised right-back.

 

Hodgson's side started the season very well but four losses in their last five games has pushed them down to 13th in the table. Young sensation Aaron Wan-Bissaka was a star for the Eagles at full-back last season but his big-money departure to Manchester United was a huge blow.

Palace failed to replace the Englishman in the summer window and that could come back to bite them in a very busy period. Kelly is no stranger to injuries having suffered a lot during his time at Liverpool. However, he has mostly been available as a Palace player and his fitness will be tested to the limit in the coming games. 

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock watches Josh Murphy of Cardiff City FC and Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and Crystal Palace at...

An injury or suspension to Kelly before Ward returns to action will cause Hodgson all sorts of problems in defence. The former England boss will have to consider reverting to a back three or playing one of his many midfielders out of position which is far from ideal. 

The Eagles have to cope for a month before they can dig into the transfer market in January. Hodgson has to prioritize a new right-back and failure to do so again in the winter window could cost them dearly in the latter stages of the season. 

manager Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace reaction during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park on November 23, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch