Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Bakary Sako will miss the remainder of the season with a fractured ankle and additional damage to the ligaments.
Hodgson said: “He certainly won’t play again this season, and he will do well to be fit for the start of next season – so it is a very, very serious injury.”
He added: “Coming as late as it did – the night before the transfer window was due to close the following day – didn’t really give us that much opportunity to change any plans because we were counting on him.”
The manager described the quantity and type of injuries to hit the Eagles this season as “unusual”. He said: “A lot of teams can talk about the number of players they have injured at any one time, but a lot of those injuries are muscle injuries. I think it’s very unusual to have as many as five players out, basically for the rest of the season.
“We already lost Benteke for six weeks, Zaha six weeks, Mamadou Sakho seven weeks, Schlupp eight to ten weeks. Five players out for the rest of the season – I think that’s a very unusual situation to find ourselves in. All of them are trauma injuries – none are due to muscle strains or pulls, they’re all cruciate ligaments, medial ligaments and fractures.”
Hodgson says he has 19 players to choose from for Sunday’s Premier League match against Newcastle United with new signing Alexander Sørloth set to go straight into the matchday squad.