Quique Sanchez Flores says Etienne Capoue suffered a “serious” knee injury during Watford’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Crystal Palace this afternoon.
The French midfielder injured himself after hanging out his left leg in an attempt to prevent Eagles attacker Yannick Bolasie from running off the back of him in an off-the-ball incident after half an hour of the contest at Wembley.
“Bolasie tries to get in behind him and he [Capoue] dangles his leg out,” said Steve McManaman on commentary.
Capoue received several minutes of treatment on the pitch from head of medical Richard Collinge and club doctor Ian Hamilton and complained of pain in the outside of his left knee. He attempted to continue but seconds after gingerly coming back onto the pitch, and attempting a raking cross-field pass, he again fell to the ground and was replaced by Mario Suarez.
It was a big blow for the Hornets to lose their stand-out midfield performer this season. He had started well, with one driving run forward in particular catching the eye.
“He’s been influential all season,” said Glenn Hoddle on BT Sport. “He’s come back on and gone to play a cross-field volley, planted the left foot and he’s in trouble. He’s in agony and let’s hope it’s not too bad. It doesn’t look good at the moment.”
Capoue left Wembley on crutches after the defeat, although he didn’t appear to be in a huge amount of discomfort. Sanchez Flores admits he doesn’t know how long the midfielder will be ruled out for.
“We’re not sure but it’s serious,” the Watford head coach said. “It was impossible for us to keep him on the pitch, which was a pity because he is one of our main players. It is his knee but we don’t know exactly what the injury is. I imagine he’ll have a scan tomorrow.”
Collinge and his team have plenty of experience of knee injuries this season: Joel Ekstrand, Rene Gilmartin and scholar David Sesay have all been treated and undergone significant rehabilitation after knee operations in the last year.