Journalist Tom Barclay has described James McArthur’s injury as a “big blow” for Crystal Palace.
The experienced midfielder, capped 32 times by Scotland, suffered a hamstring problem recently, and is set for a significant spell on the sidelines.
What happened to McArthur?
Ahead of Palace’s return to Premier League action at Burnley on Saturday after the international break, Patrick Vieira revealed that McArthur had suffered an injury and was ruled out of the trip to Turf Moor.
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In fact, the Eagles manager said that the 34-year-old would miss the next couple of weeks, which was likely to see him miss games against Burnley, Aston Villa, Leeds and Manchester United.
However, Palace journalist Matt Woosnam has since revealed that McArthur isn’t likely to return until 2022, with the former Wigan midfielder now expected to miss around six weeks of action.
McArthur could be unavailable for several Premier League games, plus the FA Cup third-round in early January.
And Barclay said that his absence is a huge setback for Vieira.
What did Barclay say?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “It sounds like it’s a hamstring problem and it could be a while and that is such a big blow.
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“To other fans that don’t follow Palace, they’ll think, a 34-year-old midfielder, who never scores goals, assists goals, grabs the headlines, but he is so huge. Go back through each of the managers that have managed him, they’re always big fans of James McArthur.”
How many games could McArthur miss?
Getting injured is never ideal at the best of times, but the timing could hardly be worse for Palace.
In a normal six-week period, he would have missed five or six games, depending on the fixture list and whether it came over an international break.
But heading towards the hectic festive period, McArthur could essentially be sidelined for around 25 percent of the Premier League season.
Including this weekend’s home game against Aston Villa, Palace play nine league games in the space of just 35 days up to New Year’s Day, and unless McArthur returns ahead of schedule, Vieira will be without the key midfielder for the lot.