Crystal Palace are set to take the cautious approach with Michael Olise’s injury after boss Patrick Vieira admitted he is unlikely to return for the weekend trip to Leicester.
The attacker sat out Monday’s excellent 3-0 win over Arsenal having left international duty with France’s Under-21s early due to “inflammation in one foot.”
Olise now faces a race against time to be fit for Palace’s FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea at Wembley on April 17.
“We have to look at how things go day after day but it doesn’t look good for the next game,” Vieira said.
Quizzed specifically on the 20-year-old’s chances of recovering in time for Wembley, the Eagles boss kept his cards close to his chest.
Vieira added: “We have to see. We have to live the week and see how he will improve.”
Olise has been one of Palace’s most consistent performers since the turn of the year, especially in the FA Cup, but they did not miss him against Arsenal.
In fact replacement Jordan Ayew grabbed the decisive second goal, which was only the second time he has found the net this season.
Either side of Ayew’s sublime finish from Joachim Andersen’s equally terrific crossfield pass was Jean-Philippe Mateta’s headed opener and a deserved goal from the spot for Wilfried Zaha after his impressive run from the halfway line forced the penalty.
“It was a really good game, we played well and managed to win,” ex-Arsenal captain Vieira said.
“We know as well what is difficult is to be consistent in the performance. This is where we need to grow as a team, to repeat these kind of performances and this is the most difficult thing to do in football.”
Cheikhou Kouyate was another injury concern for Palace after he limped off in the 80th minute.
But Vieira insisted: “He is fine, he gave everything on the field and we had a couple of guys who went on international duty and were coming back (late).
“It was good we had two more days compared to some of the teams and there was tiredness in there, but Cheikhou is good.”
After being second-best during the first half, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta reacted with the substitution of Gabriel Martinelli in place of Nuno Tavares.
It was the second time in as many starts left-back Tavares had been replaced early on following his 35th-minute withdrawal in the Gunners’ FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest in January.
Arteta said: “It was just a tactical reason, how I wanted to do it with what Palace were doing and how we could attack and control the game much better in that position with an attacking player in Emile (Smith Rowe) in that space. That was the only reason. I am sorry it was Nuno again but we had to do it.”
Thomas Partey was also taken off at Selhurst Park but that was enforced after he aggravated an old injury.
“He felt something in the same area that he got injured previously so a big concern,” Arteta said.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.