Crystal Palace are set to be without key midfielder James McArthur for an extended period of time after the extent of his injury was revealed.
The influential 34-year-old missed the 3-3 draw with Burnley last time out after picking up a hamstring problem in training, and the extent of the damage has been revealed by The Athletic’s Matt Woosnam.
He tweeted: “Understand James McArthur is expected to be out for another six weeks with a torn hamstring. His absence will be a significant blow but #CPFC have good options. Inc Will Hughes – yet to play bc injury & form of midfield.”
News that McArthur will miss potentially crucial games against the likes of Aston Villa, Leeds United and Manchester United as the busy festive period approaches will leave the club’s supporters feeling gutted.
Despite his age, the former Scotland international has been a key figure for the capital club this term, starting all 11 Premier League fixtures prior to his fitness woes.
His vast experience in the top-flight has helped provide a calming influence alongside summer signing Conor Gallagher, with the pair forming a formidable partnership in the engine room in the opening weeks of the campaign.
The club’s new manager has also taken a particular liking to him, saying after the win over Wolves: “He’s a fighter, he’s a warrior, he’s the benchmark for a professional. This is the same in training, he is no different.”
However, Vieira and co. will be forced to deal with McArthur’s enforced absence for several weeks due to his latest injury setback.
The likes of Will Hughes, Jeffrey Schlupp and Cheikhou Kouyaté will be eager to step up in the box-to-box dynamo’s absence, but the south London outfit’s fanbase will still be disappointed to lose such an influential player just as they were building some momentum.