ROY HODGSON has confirmed that Michael Olise is set for another long injury lay-off after suffering a “serious” injury.
Olise, 22, missed the first three months of this season with a hamstring issue.
RexMichael Olise came on at half-time with Crystal Palace trailing Brighton 3-0[/caption]
AlamyThe winger was forced off with injury just 11 minutes later[/caption]
RexRoy Hodgson has faced criticism over his handling of Olise’s fitness[/caption]
He has been in stunning form since returning, scoring six goals and laying on a further three assists in 11 Premier League appearances.
The winger was particularly brilliant during the recent 3-2 win over Sheffield United, but tweaked his hamstring during the match.
He was subsequently benched for the trip to Brighton last weekend, with Hodgson bringing him on at half-time with his side 3-0 down.
Just 11 minutes after coming on Olise was forced to go off after suffering another hamstring injury.
According to the Mail, the French youth international faces a minimum of two months out.
Asked about Olise’s injury this afternoon, as well as the statuses of Eberechi Eze and Marc Guehi, Hodgson said: “We’ve lost all three of them, there’s no question of that.
“It’s a massive blow, particularly after the Sheffield United game when we were really thinking ‘we’re going to be okay now, we’ve got these guys back’.
“But just the opposite has occurred and furthermore, Michael’s picked up another serious injury, which is absolutely devastating for him, for the club, for everybody really.”
Asked if he could understand fans’ frustrations at Olise having come on at 3-0 down against Brighton “with the game already gone”, Hodgson, 76, replied: “Well that’s hindsight.
“And secondly it’s suggesting he’s carrying an injury. I don’t think he was carrying an injury, I think it was more fatigue that we had to concern ourselves with.
“As a result when a player is suffering from a little bit of fatigue, and he’d been out a long time before he played 60-odd minutes against Sheffield United, everyone was urging caution.
“I’ve got to say the medical people, I hear that they’ve been taking some criticism, when that’s grossly unfair.
“They’ve done remarkably well getting him back into any condition to play, really.
“It boils down more to the fact that when there was a chance that he could be available, basically everyone got together and decided perhaps he can be available.
“But we need to start him on the bench, maybe only bring him on in the second half, that’s where we all were.
‘WE STRODE BLINDLY AHEAD’
“Then I suppose we strode blindly ahead, but it’s not easy when you’ve got a player like Olise on the bench to turn around and say ‘by the way you just sit there and watch the game because we don’t need you’.
“That’s not quite so easy, and there was no indication from us that he was happy to do that, but of course Michael’s a quiet guy so that’s the other unfortunate part of this whole equation.
“Another player might have come and said ‘I don’t think it’s worth it, I don’t think I need to go on, I’d rather have a bit more time’ – but we can’t expect that of him.
“That’s not fair to expect that of him, he’s just going along with what he thinks the whole of the club thinks so it was the perfect storm in every respect.”
Palace sit 14th in the Premier League table, five points above the bottom three.
They have two wins in their last 14 games in all competitions, a period that has also seen them dumped out of the FA Cup.
Next up they will host Chelsea on Monday night, with the Blues having just beaten Aston Villa 3-1 in what Mauricio Pochettino dubbed their “best performance of the season”.