Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that striker Connor Wickham has suffered a fresh injury setback following his two-year stint on the sidelines.
Palace travel to in-form London rivals Chelsea on Sunday looking for a first win in five games but look set to be without Wickham who joins Christian Benteke, Joel Ward and Scott Dann for the London derby.
It’s been a difficult journey at times but one that paid off yesterday. Although there’s still a way to go, finally crossing that white line was great. Thank you to all the fans for your support yesterday, see you Sunday for another big game! #CPFC pic.twitter.com/H72JiN4sy5— Connor Wickham (@ConnorWickham10) October 22, 2018
The 25-year-old has endured a gruelling rehabilitation process after rupturing his cruciate against Swansea City in November 2016, but now a fresh thigh strain injury has put the Englishman back on the sidelines once more.
However, Hodgson confirmed at his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon that the Eagles' star man Wilfried Zaha will be fit for the game, having been rested for the midweek Carabao Cup tie against Middlesbrough after jarring his shoulder against Arsenal.
"We had three players who suffered minor knocks against Arsenal and weren't able to travel with us to Middlesbrough, James McArthur, Wilf Zaha and Cheik Kouyate, but they have recovered well as I hoped that they would and they will be fine, and it is always nice to have that confirmed.
"Connor Wickham has picked up a new thigh strain, which stopped him from taking part on Wednesday evening and he will be out now for a further period of time, which is a shame and a disappointment because he had been training for a while with us on a regular basis and we were harbouring the notion that he may now be fit enough to take part, but that is not the case and he isn't," said Hodgson.
"Christian Benteke is making good progress and continuing his programme of rehabilitation and Joel Ward is still recovering from his thigh strain," added the 71-year-old boss.
Wickham, who joined from Sunderland in 2015 for £9m, has only played for Palace 35 times in three seasons, scoring nine goals. Palace face an in-form and unbeaten Chelsea side on Sunday looking for an unlikely third win of a disappointing Premier League season.