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James McArthur set to miss start of Crystal Palace campaign with groin injury

Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur is set to miss the start of the season after suffering a groin injury during pre-season training, The Athletic understands.

The 34-year-old missed a significant portion of the 2021-22 campaign after scans confirmed he had torn his hamstring in November’s 2-0 victory over Wolves.

That kept him out until February, before he then picked up further injuries which limited him to just 15 Premier League starts in all.

Now though, manager Patrick Vieira has been dealt an early blow as one of his most experienced players is expected to miss the entirety of the preparations for the new campaign.

The prognosis is that McArthur, who recently agreed a one-year contract extension to take him into his ninth season with the club, is likely to be out for around a month.

However, without a pre-season to prepare, that is likely to extend further into the start of the season.

The former Scotland international’s contract expires next summer.

McArthur’s absence was notable last term, with Conor Gallagher in particular impacted and forced to drop slightly deeper. Palace’s midfield was also weakened without the Scot’s leadership.

His latest injury led Palace to step up their interest in the Swansea midfielder Flynn Downes, but they are facing strong competition from West Ham United in their pursuit of the 23-year-old, who now appears more likely to choose European football in east London over Palace.

The signing of RC Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure is close, however.

Palace will travel to Singapore in pre-season to face Liverpool, before playing Leeds United and Manchester United in Australia.

Those players not travelling on tour will play Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on July 23.

(Photo: Juan Gasparini/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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