The American international is still yet to make his full league debut for Palace having only started in the Carabao Cup thus far since arriving from Bayern Munich over the summer and he is set to be forced into waiting even longer.
This is because Richards has picked up an injury while away on international duty, which has been described as the player having severe pain in his leg, although it’s yet to be determined the true extent of Richards’ injury.
Cook, however, believes that Richards may well be out for anywhere between three and five weeks.
(3:05) “He has left the American team hotel after experiencing and I quote this here ‘severe pain in his leg’ that is via the London World website, not sure quite what severe pain in his leg constitutes, it could be all manner of things.
“It could be his thigh, it could be his calf, it could be his ankle, it could be any part of the leg so we are pretty much in the dark as to exactly what the injury is likely to be but he is reportedly set to fly back to London for further assessment ahead of that game against Chelsea following the conclusion of the International break.
Will Palace finish inside the top 10?
“But putting two and two together and trying to arrive at a figure of four, you would assume that severe pain in his leg means that it’s not just going to be a minor issue and potentially he’s going to be out for three, four or five weeks. Obviously, that is speculation on my part and we can’t guarantee that but it’s certainly an unwelcome blow for Patrick Vieira and the coaching staff.”
TIF Thoughts on Richards’ injury blow…
While it may not seem like that much of a blow for Palace to lose someone who’s yet to even start in the league for the first team, all it takes now is one of Joachim Andersen or Marc Guehi to pick up a knock while away with their respective countries and the Eagles are down to the barebones at centre back.
Also, not just for Vieira and Palace is this a big blow, but for Richards, himself who will have been acclimatising himself to England and the fast nature of Premier League football and this will no doubt halt him in his tracks for a prolonged period of time.
Nothing has yet been confirmed in terms of Richards’ time needed on the sidelines, however, if it was indeed severe pain, then it appears unlikely he will be making his Palace debut any time in the near future.