Mamadou Sakho latest Crystal Palace injury ahead of FA Cup clash against Derby
Former England boss Hodgson to come up against man he made captain - Wayne Rooney - in FA Cup
Last Updated: 05/01/20 4:48pm
Mamadou Sakho faces a considerable absence with a hamstring injury and Roy Hodgson admits Crystal Palace are getting close to bare bones ahead of Sunday's FA Cup third-round clash with Derby.
Hodgson will have a reunion with Wayne Rooney - the man he promoted to England captain back in 2014 - when the Rams visit Selhurst Park for what is likely to be his first game back in a competition he won with Manchester United in 2016.
But Rooney's return to English football is the least of Hodgson's concerns at the moment, the latest of a long line of injuries having occurred to key centre-back Sakho in the 1-1 draw at Norwich on New Year's Day.
Hodgson admitted he is going to have to weigh up the risks of including other first-team regulars, including Wilfried Zaha, for a game when vital Premier League points are not on the line.
Asked about availability of players for Sunday, Hodgson said: "I've got to try and remember them! It's been added to with Mamadou Sakho pulling his hamstring against Norwich so he's going to be missing for a considerable period of time.
"Gary Cahill has done his first training session today which is positive, so maybe it's one in, one out in terms of training bodies.
"Joel Ward, Scott Dann and Patrick van Aanholt are all injured, Andros Townsend is injured, Jeffrey Schlupp is injured, Christian Benteke is injured so basically you are talking about our first-team squad.
"Wilf Zaha played with an injury on Wednesday and it was touch and go if he was going to be on the field. I'd think it would be very unlikely if we would do that to him again for the game on Sunday.
"Do you say we need to play close to our best team and players on the field, and risk they are going to pick up an injury, or do we say we can't afford to risk it with all the games we have coming up in the league. It's a dilemma and I am still waiting for that bolt from the blue which will tell me what I need to do to solve the dilemma.
"We would want to put more resources into the FA Cup if we had them. It's a great competition but the bottom line is, we have to balance what is available to us with what we can possibly do, take the soundings from our sports science people and weigh the possible risks."
Rooney made his playing return on Thursday when he was part of both Derby goals in a 2-1 win over Barnsley.
Hodgson feels the former England captain has plenty of time left, at the age of 34, to secure more success as a player before entering the management ranks full-time.
He added: "It's nice to see him back in English football, embarking on what will eventually be a new career in coaching and management when he decides the time is right to stop playing.
"Knowing Wayne as I do I wouldn't expect him to be making that decision too soon. I know how much he loves to play, he's still a very good footballer so I'd expect him to help Derby as a player for a period to come and it will be nice to see him.
"Players you have worked with do have that propensity to come back and bite you where you least want to be bitten but you have to live with that as a coach."