Crystal Palace lost at Luton Town this weekend to make it four defeats in its last five league games, but the injury woes from the game are of a bigger concern. Cheick Doucoure faces an injury that may rule him out for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Eberechi Eze will undergo scans to determine the severity of a knock he picked up at Kenilworth Road.

The Evening Standard in London reports Doucoure suffered a serious ankle injury on Saturday. The midfielder was not involved in a challenge at the time of his injury. Instead, he tried to run and pulled up, collapsing to the ground. He needed a stretcher to exit the field. The injury to his Achilles will rule the midfielder out for six months. That puts his entire season with Crystal Palace in jeopardy. Additionally, the Mali international will miss the African Cup of Nations because of his injury. The tournament starts in January, and he will not be a part of the Mali squad as a result.

Before the diagnosis, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson recognized the severity of the injury. Immediately, Hodgson identified Doucoure would be out for a few months.

“He’s got a bad injury,” Hodgson said. “I’ll let the doctor deal with that first. It’s not going to be an injury that keeps him out for a short period of time.”

Unfortunately, the ‘short period of time’ Hodgson mentioned ballooned into half a year. Doucoure’s season is effectively over.

Eze joins Doucoure with injury at Crystal Palace

Eberechi Eze does not face as grave of an injury. Eze needed a substitute soon after halftime. However, the major concern for Eze is that he recently returned from a hamstring injury. Like Doucoure, Eze did not have an injury from any collision. That indicates a muscle injury that may require more time away from Crystal Palace.

Eze has been one of Crystal Palace’s best players when he has been fit. He has just two goals and a singular assist in Premier League play this season. However, last season, Eze closed the season on a tear to hit 10 goals in one Premier League season.

Eze was making his return to action after missing three games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury.
Eze was making his return to action after missing three games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury.

Eze was making his return to action after missing three games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury.

Both Eze and Doucoure are regular starters in Hodgson’s Crystal Palace outfit. They will join goalkeeper Dean Henderson on the injury list at Crystal Palace.

Palace dipping in form at the wrong time

Even with Eze and Doucoure in the fold, Palace had been slumping of late. Four losses in Palace’s last five league games dropped the Eagles from ninth in the table to 13th. The major solace for Palace is that many of the clubs beneath the south London outfit are also slumping in form. Nottingham Forest and Fulham, located directly underneath Palace in the table, have also lost three of their last four league games.

On a personal level, Doucoure’s injury means he will not play in AFCON. Mali is not necessarily a favorite to win the competition. However, it reached the knockout stage in the two most recent editions of the tournament. In 2012 and 2013, Mali finished third, which shows that the side can make waves in the competition. However, the omission of Doucoure deals a hammer blow to the nation’s prospect of success in 2024.