Hodg­son rules Ben­teke out un­til 2019

Observer on Saturday - - Sport - Mir­ror Sport 24

Crys­talPalace­boss Roy Hodg­son does not ex­pect Chris­tian Ben­tek etoma ke his come­back from a trou­ble­some knee in­jury be­fore the New Year. The Bel­gium in­ter­na­tional un­der­went mi­nor arthro­scopic ex­plo­rative surgery on Wed­nes­day to rec­tify the long-stand­ing prob­lem, which has lim­ited him to just four ap­pear­ances in the open­ing three months of the new cam­paign. The Ea­gles an­tic­i­pated Ben­teke “to re­turn­to­train­ingverysoon”,butHodg­son doubts he’ll be able to utilise the 27-year-old striker for the re­main­der of 2018. “Chris­tian Ben­teke was op­er­ated on yes­ter­day. We tried the con­ser­va­tive route to put an end to his knee prob­lem, which he has suf­fered with for a while,” the 71-year-old told Sky Sports. “That didn’t work out. There


was al­ways the risk that if it didn’t work out an op­er­a­tion would be nec­es­sary, and I got the bad news that the op­er­a­tion was nec­es­sary, had taken place and now he will be out for a long pe­riod of time.

“It’s an op­er­a­tion and nor­mally op­er­a­tions take time. It is dan­ger­ous for peo­ple like my­self to start say­ing ‘it will be this amount of time’ be­cause you fall foul of the doc­tors and the sport sci­en­tists who have a dif­fer­ent view.

No doubt

“But there’s no doubt we won’t be see­ing much of him this year. I think it will take un­til into 2019 be­fore we see him, but hope­fully ear­lier than later in 2019.”

Ben­teke has al­ready missed four games for Palace, who have strug­gled for goals in the Premier League this sea­son, scor­ing just five times in eight matches.

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