LONDON (Reuters) - Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke is unlikely to return from injury until next year after undergoing knee surgery, manager Roy Hodgson said on Thursday.
The 27-year-old has been sidelined since the beginning of September, having withdrawn from the Belgium squad during the last international break.
The Premier League club confirmed on Wednesday that he had undergone minor surgery and a washout of the kneeand Hodgson said he is now facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“There’s no doubt we won’t be seeing much of him this year,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.
“I think it will take until into 2019 before we see him, but hopefully earlier than later in 2019.”
Benteke, who joined Palace from Liverpool for 27 million pounds ($36 million) two years ago, has featured four times for the club in the league this season but has yet to score.
The club, who are 14th in the table and winless in their last three league matches, return to action following the international break against Everton on Oct. 21.
Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Pritha Sarkar