Palace boss Hodgson 'very glad' Tomkins has not been forced to retire

Roy Hodgson is ‘very glad’ James Tomkins was not forced to retire early due to ‘nasty’ eye injury after an accident in training… but Crystal Palace boss refuses to put timescale on stricken defender’s return

  • The exact details that led to James Tomkins’ eye injury are currently unknown  
  • It occurred at Crystal Palace training last month ahead of the West Ham game 
  • Palace boss Roy Hodgson was upbeat the defender would play again this term 
  • But the 31-year-old ex-Hammers centre back is still recovering his full eyesight 

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson revealed his relief that the ‘nasty’ eye injury James Tomkins suffered following an accident at training last month did not lead to the defender’s premature playing retirement.

The exact details of the incident that led to the problem ahead of Palace’s fixture against West Ham on January 26 are unknown, but Tomkins has been under the knife to correct a couple of issues and faces a long convalescence.

While upbeat about Tomkins’ return before the end of the season, Hodgson refused to put a timescale on a comeback as he insisted his only focus presently is the 31-year-old recovering his full eyesight.  

Roy Hodgson is ‘very glad’ James Tomkins’ ‘nasty’ eye injury will not force him to retire

Tomkins has had surgery on his eye after an accident at Crystal Palace training last month

‘They needed to repair a bone underneath the eye and was trapping a muscle, affecting the eye’s ability to function properly,’ said Hodgson. ‘As far as I know he hasn’t had an operation within the eye itself.

‘All the experts can tell me is it’s a matter of time, it’s not a quick-healing process. All we can do at the moment is wait and rejoice in the improvement we seem to be seeing on a daily basis.

‘There’s no way he’s going to be rushed back into football until he is 100 per cent certain himself that his eye is fine and his eyesight is going to be perfect again and he’s ready to play football.

‘I really can’t put a timescale on it because every time I ask the doctors and the specialists they just reiterate that it was a nasty injury and we’ve got to give it the time it needs.

‘We’ve got three months left of the season, it’s certainly not going to be in the coming weeks, that’s for sure, but I remain optimistic and hopeful.

 Hodgson (right) was upbeat that the 31-year-old defender would play again this season

‘Most of all I am very glad I’m not talking about James Tomkins who’s been forced to retire from football because of a really bad eye injury which he picked up in training.’

Tomkins, who is one of several first-team players on the sidelines ahead of Sunday’s visit of relegation-threatened Fulham, has missed Palace’s last six matches and is currently unable to do any fitness work.

Hodgson added: ‘The specialists don’t want him doing any physical training, not even in the gym.

‘Everything is focused on his eye returning to normal, but we do hope that as these things do get better, he’ll get permission to start some sort of physical work to get himself back hopefully into a position where he might return.

‘We do miss him, there’s no question about that. He was playing extremely well. He’s a real quality player.’

Tomkins has missed Palace’s last six matches since the home loss by former club West Ham

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