Palace defender Tomkins to miss rest of season with injury

Crystal Palace defender James Tomkins will miss the remainder of the Premier League season with a groin injury, manager Roy Hodgson said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain – April 3, 2019 Crystal Palace’s James Tomkins in action with Tottenham’s Harry Kane REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

REUTERS: Crystal Palace defender James Tomkins will miss the remainder of the Premier League season with a groin injury, manager Roy Hodgson said on Friday.

Tomkins, who has made 28 league starts this season, hobbled off in the second half of the 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park last weekend.

“We lost James Tomkins in the game against Newcastle, he has been operated on, so he will miss the remainder of the season which is a major blow, coming on top of Mamadou Sakho’s injury five or six games ago,” Hodgson told reporters ahead of Sunday’s league clash against Manchester City.

The watertight defensive partnership of Tomkins and Sakho helped Palace steer away from the relegation battle. However, with both now on the sidelines, Hodgson wants replacements Scott Dann and Martin Kelly to ensure a smooth run-in.

“Those two have been such important pillars in the centre of our defence and helped us get where we are,” Hodgson added.

“It is a big ask for Scott and Martin, they’re going to have to step into some quite big shoes but I am confident that they can do that, and they will get their first chance on Sunday.”

Following a 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium in December, Palace are looking to complete the top-flight double over City for the first time since the 1972-73 campaign.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)