Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha picked up a hamstring injury in his side's 2-1 win over Newcastle and had to be substituted midway through the second half.
The Ivory Coast winger pulled up just 13 minutes after the break and had to be replaced by Andros Townsend, but despite losing their top scorer, Palace managed to hang on for the victory thanks to goals from Jairo Riedewald and Gary Cahill.
Next up for Palace is a trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United, and speaking ahead of the game, manager Roy Hodgson confirmed that the meeting with Marcelo Bielsa's side will come far too soon for Zaha.
“We don’t know how long it’s going to keep him out,” Hodgson confessed (via the club's official website). “He certainly won’t be available for this game, and it could be much longer than that.
“At the moment of course it’s the early stage of the injury and he’s still being assessed. It’s totally unrealistic to suggest he’d be ready for this game.”
Zaha has racked up nine goals and two assists in the Premier League this season, leaving him top of Palace's goalscoring charts by some margin, and Hodgson confirmed that the club's medical staff are working tirelessly to help Zaha recover.
“You never know with these hamstring injuries, but Wilf is incredible in terms of recovery so I wouldn’t want to put a definite timeline on it," he added. "But it’s a muscle strain and all muscle strains take time to heal.
“Our people are doing their level best to get him back on the field.”
In Zaha's absence, Palace will have to rely on the likes of Townsend and Ebere Eze to provide the creativity, while new signing Jean-Philippe Mateta will be expected to help Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi on the goalscoring front.
Hodgson won't be the only manager scratching his head over Zaha's injury. Plenty of fantasy football managers will be ruing the loss of Zaha, who is one of the game's highest-scoring midfielders so far this season.
If you have enough left over in your bank, consider swapping Zaha out for slightly more expensive options like Aston Villa's Jack Grealish or Leicester City's James Maddison, but if you're on the hunt for bargains, West Ham's Tomas Soucek, Wolves' Pedro Neto and Man City's Ilkay Gundogan are all worth considering.
Source : 90min