Vieira took to his pre-match press conference to confirm that the Chelsea game would come too soon for McArthur to make his return.
The Eagles boss told the press: “They all came back in good shape. But we still have players such as Nathan Ferguson, Macca [James McArthur] and Jack Butland who are still out.”
It had been expected that the midfielder would feature in the team against Graham Potter’s side upon the return to action in the Premier League this afternoon, so it is bad news for Crystal Palace that McArthur won’t be available for selection.
The Scotsman hasn’t been seen yet this season after sustaining a groin injury in pre-season, with the 34-year-old veteran struggling to overcome his fitness problems over the last 12 months.
McArthur, who has tallied up 249 appearances, 19 goals and 23 assists over his Palace career, tore his hamstring back in November of 2021, followed by several knocks until he returned three months later, seeing the midfielder make only 15 starts in the Premier League last season.
Despite his absence from the side, the talented player dominated in the centre of the pitch when he did have the opportunity to represent the South London club in the league.
Over 21 appearances, McArthur delivered three assists and created three big chances, as well as made 1.4 interceptions, 1.6 tackles and 1.2 clearances per game. He also compted 70% of his dribbles, proving that he is an effective midfielder in both defensive and attacking play in his central role.
Vieira is a huge admirer of the experienced midfielder detailing his importance to the team when he returned from injury last season (via Football.London):
“Macca is one of the players we missed a lot because of what he brings us on the field. It’s not about the quality of the player, but it’s about his presence and his experience. He is vocal when he’s on the field, he is one of our leaders.”
With that being said, the Palace boss will be hoping he has enough quality and experience in the team to compete with Chelsea this afternoon without McArthur, and three points could put them in a much more comfortable position in the Premier League table as they are currently just two points of the relegation zone.