Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Loftus-Cheek was withdrawn in the first half due to a back injury. Getty Images


  • Crystal Palace midfielder lasts just 35 minutes of second Three Lions start.
  • But Chelsea loanee not expected to miss weekend visit of Everton.

Crystal Palace midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has suffered the recurrence of a back injury but is not expected to miss the visit of Everton when the Premier League season resumes this weekend.

The 21-year-old lasted just 35 minutes of his second Three Lions start in the goalless draw with Brazil before being replaced by Manchester United's Jesse Lingard.

On loan from Premier League champions Chelsea, Loftus-Cheek has already missed a handful of matches this term due to injury and has been troubled by a back problem amid his increased workload

But England boss Gareth Southgate told reporters ahead of Palace's clash with Everton this weekend: "It's a problem with his back which he has had periodically so I think we're ok. It should settle down fairly quickly. I don't expect it to be a problem."

Loftus-Cheek's marginalisation at Chelsea has meant he has never complete 90 minutes twice in the space of four days and he was unable to prove his fitness after being withdrawn in the first half at Wembley.

Southgate is however content to allow him time to achieve full fitness, hinting that he could be included in future squads. England don't play again until March when they face Netherlands and Italy in back-to-back friendlies.

"We are going to have to give him time to build his reliance," Southgate said of the Chelsea youngster who has played 631 minutes of club football this season. "He has had to go through that as a young player through the growth spurts he has had.

"He has already played more minutes this year than in the whole of last season so inevitably there is going to be response to that as the season goes on.

"But he in way stronger now than he was a year, two years ago. At that time it was very difficult for him to finish 90 minutes, he did that on Friday comfortable and looked strong at the end.

"Today is a disappointment for him to have to come off because I think he had already shown some really good touches in the game but the 10 days overall have been a massive stride forward for him."

Palace are sure to assess Loftus-Cheek upon his return but should he be passed fit he is likely to face Everton this weekend. The Eagles then host Stoke City the following week before travelling to Brighton and Hove Albion to conclude their November schedule.