April 5, 2018 / 2:51 PM / 17 days ago

Soccer: Palace's Benteke doubtful for Bournemouth trip with groin injury

(Reuters) - Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke faces a late fitness test to be ready for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth after injuring his groin in training on Thursday, manager Roy Hodgson said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace vs Liverpool - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - March 31, 2018 Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke in action with Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

“Benteke limped off from training with a groin injury and we will have to wait to see how he progresses overnight and we will check tomorrow morning on his fitness,” Hodgson told a news conference on Thursday.

“I have just spoken to the doctor to ask how he rates his chances of being fit and he said he would rather not say at this stage so if he is not prepared to do that then I am certainly not in a position to either.”

Benteke has struggled for form this season and was guilty of two bad misses in quick succession against his former club Liverpool as Palace were beaten 2-1 last Saturday.

The Belgian has managed just two league goals from 26 appearances in the current campaign.

Palace are 17th in the table with 30 points from 32 games after seven wins, nine draws and 16 defeats and Hodgson said his side could face an uphill task in the remainder of the season starting with the trip to 10th-placed Bournemouth.

“We’re ready for the very difficult time ahead, for the battle that we’re going to have to face. We have to be as competitive as we have been in our recent performances.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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