New setback for Ventola
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Crystal Palace's Nicola Ventola will be out until the New Year with an ankle problem.Crystal Palace striker Nicola Ventola has been dealt a fresh injury blow and will be out until the New Year with an ankle problem.
The Italian is on a season-long loan at Selhurst Park from Internazionale, but has been plagued by injury during his time in England.
He has yet to start a game for The Eagles and only recently returned to full fitness after a knee complaint sustained in late September.
The 26-year-old resumed training this week, but has now damaged an ankle and faces up to six weeks on the sidelines.
Palace boss Iain Dowie admitted it was a major blow for both player and club.
"Nicola's had a massive disappointment," he stated. "He started training this week but fell awkwardly and rolled his ankle.
"He may have a spiral fracture of his tibia. It might be four to six weeks.
"It's a massive blow to the lad. We all feel for him because he's desperate to be a part of it.
"He even pulled me up afterwards to say he was terribly sorry because that's the sort of lad he is. We're bitterly disappointed for him.
"He's in a plaster at the moment and he's out of the loop for a long time."
Dowie also moved to quash speculation that Ecuadorian international Ivan Kaviedes could be set for an imminent departure from the club.
The South American has struggled to adapt to the rigours of the English game since a summer move from Barcelona de Guayaquil, leading to rumours he could be offloaded during the January transfer window.
But Dowie remains adamant that he still has a future in South East London.
"If any players leave the club they will go when I think it's right or when the player comes to me," he continued.
"That's not happened yet. It's difficult. He's not adapted as quickly as we would have liked but that's the risk you take.
"We're not the first club who's had a player not settle.
"But his fitness is improving and we'll see how he goes.
"He comes from a totally different environment where the football is played at a different tempo level but if you tell people honestly they are going to be part of it here they will respond in the right way."