Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has revealed Joel Ward is expected to be out for a significant period of time after suffering a serious knee injury in the 2-1 loss to Liverpool.
The news is a big blow to the Eagles, with Ward their only natural right back following the summer departure of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United.
Hodgson spoke about his injury concerns ahead of Palace's trip to Burnley on Saturday, revealing how long he expects the 30-year-old to be out for.
"They are reluctant to put a date because they are frightened you are going to come back after a period of time and demand the player returns," Hodgson said, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
"But it is a serious knee injury in the sense it will keep him off for a number of weeks rather than a number of days. I can tell you exactly what the time scale is but it will be a considerable amount of time."
Hodgson could be without Gary Cahill for the Burnley game, the former Chelsea defender also picking up a knee problem, but Mamadou Sakho is edging closer to a first team return after featuring for the club's Under-23s this week.
Hodgson added: "Mamadou has been fine for a while. The last two weeks he’s been training so it’s just a question of getting back, if you like, to the full fitness level he wants to achieve and to do that he’s got to play some matches."
Palace's defence has been one of their strong points so far this season, but a worrying loss of form has seen the south London side lose four of their last five Premier League games, last winning when they triumphed at West Ham in early October.