BY SAM SMITH
Wayne Hennessey and James McCarthy are set to miss Crystal Palace’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion after returning from the international break with injuries.
Hennessey is to have a scan on a quadricep muscle called the rectus femori, while McCarthy suffered a grade one hamstring injury.
Connor Wickham – who has not featured in an Eagles matchday squad this season – is also absent with an injury similar to the Wales goalkeeper. Wickham’s Palace career has been blighted by a series of absences and he has made just 16 appearances for the south Londoners since November 2016.
Hennessey became the Dragons’ most capped shot-stopper during the international break having made his 93rd appearance for Ryan Giggs’ side.
Palace boss Hodgson said: “James McCarthy came back injured from Ireland. That’s a muscle injury. He’s another one who, at the moment, has returned injured and he will certainly not be available this weekend. Neither will Hennessey.
“Hennessey is still waiting for the scan. He’s waiting to see a specialist. I wouldn’t even dream to put a projection on or make a comment on the state of his injury until I have all those facts.
“When it comes to James McCarthy, he had a scan in Ireland and theirs did not show up any damage. But he was still feeling his injury when he returned and our scan did show up a grade one injury to his hamstring. Normally those injuries take between two and three weeks. He won’t be around at the weekend and I will be very surprised if he is training in the early part of next week.
“Wayne’s is a bit higher up, something that they call a ‘rec-fem’ (rectus femoris). It’s the muscle that you kick with – very high up. It’s a similar injury, although slightly lower down, that Connor Wickham suffered from in training last Monday.”
However, Hodgson, a former England manager, stressed that he is not frustrated by players returning from international breaks with injuries. The 73-year-old pointed to Wickham’s absence to make the point that they can also happen while a player remains at a club while others play for their countries.
“I’m not going to be saying anything other than that it is unfortunate when these things happen,” Hodgson said. “I believe it is good for players to play for their national team and I believe they should want to play for their national team. They should be grateful every time they are called up and given the chance.
“But, of course, it’s extra matches and in extra matches things can happen. But the injury that happened to Connor Wickham, that just happened in a training session. So I wouldn’t dream of complaining about the fact that [injuries suffered while on international duty] happen.
“I just feel very sorry for Wayne Hennessey if it is going to keep him out for any length of time. He missed the Euros this summer [due to postponement] and he was really anxious to get ready for the Euros next summer. He’ll have to make sure he gets ready again for when he’s given the green light to start playing again.”
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