BY SAM SMITH
New Crystal Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland has tested positive for coronavirus.
The England international signed for the Eagles last Friday but returned a positive test before he had even met his new teammates.
Butland, 27, became the second Palace player to test positive within a few days. Jordan Ayew is also self-isolating after testing positive upon his return from the international break. The Ghanaian does not have symptoms, according to the Palace boss.
Palace had also lost fellow goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to a long-term injury, which had prompted them to move for the former Stoke City man.
Hodgson said: “We were forced to act because we know that [Hennessey] is going to be out until at least January and, even then, we don’t know what the future holds for him and when he will be able to get fit again.
“So we needed to bring someone in and our misfortune continued, as no sooner did Jack come and sign than he tested positive for coronavirus.
“We haven’t seen him because he needed to self-isolate and, like Jordan [Ayew], he is stuck in a hotel room in London in a very boring existence, I imagine, waiting for the magical period of time that you have to self-isolate for to pass and take another test and hopefully be cleared.
“We have only had him from afar. My only contact with him is on the phone, asking how he is feeling. He is feeling good, but very frustrated and disappointed that all he sees is four walls.”
As per government guidelines, Butland will need to self-isolate for 10 days from his positive test. The Premier League requires players who test positive to return a negative before they begin training again.
The usual third-choice Stephen Henderson will deputise for the regular goalkeeper Vicente Guaita when Palace travel to Fulham tomorrow.
Hodgson will also be without Gary Cahill. The 34-year-old was the recipient of a poor tackle by the Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk, who was sent off for the challenge late in Sunday’s 1-1 draw.
Cahill was making his first appearance since July 7.
“[Cahill’s injury is] not very good, I’m afraid,” Hodgson said. “It was a nasty injury so we are still assessing it. He won’t be able to play at Fulham unless something miraculous happens overnight.
“I am hoping it is not one that keeps him out for weeks on end, but it is too soon after the kick he has taken to play.”
Main image: CPFC
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