Roy Hodgson has revealed that both Jason Puncheon and Scott Dann look likely to miss the rest of the season at last after both picked up serious knee injuries against Manchester City on Sunday.
The pair were both stretchered off in the 0-0 draw with the league leaders, and speaking in his post-match press conference after the win against Southampton two days later, the Eagles manager admitted that the duo will be out for a number of months.
“It’s very bad news,” he said. “Both have cruciate knee ligament injuries – Dann has got a meniscus injury to his anterior cruciate and Jason has got a rupture in his posterior cruciate.
“Both will be seeing specialists and having operations when the swelling goes down, and we won’t see anything of those players for the rest of our season, and it’s going to be hard for them to be ready for the start of next season because it’s a serious injury.
“The game against Manchester City was a good one and a good performance and we rightly got some praise for it, but it came at a high price because we lost two of our senior players.”
However, Hodgson praised some of the fringe members of the squad for their efforts during the festive fixtures who have stepped up when others have been missing to help Palace up to 14th in the table after a run of one loss from their past 11 fixtures.
“We know there’s character in the team and determination,” he added. “We’ve been unlucky with injuries, not least of all on Sunday, but the ones that have come in have immediately stepped up to the plate, such as Van Aanholt, Riedewald, Bakary Sako and the goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey who has had to wait a while for a chance.
“When they’ve come in they’ve shown they’ve taken on board what the players that were playing before them were doing and filled in how we’ve like and helped us to get some good results.”