KEVIN DOYLE has suffered another blow as the Ireland striker has been forced to cut short his loan spell in the Premier League.
And the Wexford man may even be forced to go under the knife to cure the injury problems which have plagued his season.
The 31-year-old has made just four appearances for Palace since joining on loan from Wolves in August, all as a sub and he has yet to score for the Eagles. But Doyle suffered a recurrence of a groin strain ahead of Ireland's Euro qualifier in Scotland last month and has been unable to train fully since then, so Palace have decided to end his loan deal and the player has returned to Wolves for assessment.
"He has got a problem at the moment that does not look like clearing up. He is back at Wolves and they are deciding whether they are going to operate on him," said Palace boss Neil Warnock, who admits that he's now in the hunt for a striker in the January transfer window as Doyle's premature exit has reduced his attacking options. "I think we know we haven't got enough fire-power. When you look at the other teams they have all got main strikers to select from.
"I think the lads are doing as well as they can. We do need improvement in that area and we are looking to address that in January," Warnock added.
The ending of his time at Palace is another difficulty for Doyle in what has been a troubled year with club and country. He spent time on loan at QPR last season and helped them win promotion to the Premier League but then had to return to Wolves for pre-season as he still had a year left on his deal at Molineux, and the loan move to Palace earlier this season was plagued by injury.
Doyle was Ireland's third-top scorer in 2014, having scored twice, but he only featured in one of the last five international matches of the year and he has played just once in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, with his last competitive start coming in the World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan last year.