BY SAM SMITH
Gary Cahill has pointed to the extended break during the first national lockdown as a reason for his injury problems over the last six months.
The Crystal Palace defender suffered a hamstring injury against former club Chelsea in July which meant he missed the end of last season and the beginning of this campaign.
Cahill marked his comeback in the 1-1 draw against Brighton but Lewis Dunk’s strong challenge – which saw the defender sent off – sidelined him for a further two games.
Another hamstring injury suffered against Liverpool in December meant that the former England international spent another spell on the sidelines – finally returning to the team for yesterday’s 4-0 defeat against Manchester City. He had been an unused substitute for the 0-0 draw with Arsenal four days prior.
Cahill, 34, told Palace TV: “It’s been frustrating for me. I can’t seem to get going. On the back of lockdown (the Premier League season was suspended for three months from March), which is alien for players to be off for that amount of time – months – and then come back, I suffered a bad injury then.
“The Brighton one I can’t do much about, and then I had a small hamstring [injury] over Christmas. So for me it’s been frustrating.
“It was nice to get back out there and playing, but obviously I feel disappointed with the result. For me now it’s got to be onwards and upwards – the more I train, the sharper I’ll be. I’ll hopefully have a big impact come the end of the season.”
Roy Hodgson’s side have an eight-day gap before their next fixture against West Ham next Tuesday. They then face three matches in seven days against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Leeds United.
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