According to London World, Palace defender Chris Richards has suffered an injury whilst on international duty with the USA, and has now withdrawn from the squad.
As per the report, Richards will return to London for further assessment to clarify how serious the injury is after suffering severe pain in his leg.
Despite not starting for Crystal Palace in the Premier League this season, the talented former Bayern Munich defender has made three substitute appearances and featured in the starting line-up against Oxford United in the League Cup, so Vieira would surely be gutted to lose the centre-back.
Crystal Palace have already had two matches postponed due to Queen Elizabeth’s passing and rail strikes, so will likely suffer some fixture congestion ahead of the World Cup in order to fit in all of their Premier League games.
The 22-year-old was impressive in his first 90-minute appearance for the Eagles in the EFL Cup, enjoying 77 touches of the ball, making one interception, winning two tackles and completing five clearances, as well as winning 100% of his ground duels.
Vieira is already a huge admirer of the young defender hailing him an “important asset” after giving him his first 15 minutes against Montpellier in a pre-season friendly last month:
“It was really good to give him his first 15 minutes. He’s a solid defender who loves to defend, especially in a one-v-one situation. He’s really comfortable with the ball. He needs time, of course, to get used to what we are doing and how we want to play. He’s an important asset for the football club.”
As such, there is no doubt Vieira will be worried about the fitness of a player he is clearly planning to develop into a mainstay at Selhurst Park, with the French manager undoubtedly hoping that the injury is nothing too serious so that he can continue to nurture Richards’ talent in the English game.