On Saturday Christian Benteke was taken off for Andi Weimann with 15 minutes left to play against Swansea. Given what we had seen, it looked to be even later than it probably should have been. Earlier the Belgian striker had fallen to the pitch and looked to be clutching his knee, but it quickly became apparent it was yet another hip issue.
The fact that he walked off under his own power (and kept playing) is probably a good sign, but Tim Sherwood isn't really sure what's up with Benteke. As quoted in the Birmingham Mail, Sherwood said:
"Benteke took a painkiller [at halftime]. He's had a problem with his hip. In the end he had to come off because it was too sore. I don't know how bad it is. He's being assessed by the physios."
Well then. His hip has been a bit dodgy all season, so we can file this under "probably should worry us a bit." Luckily there is a two-week break coming up, so he should have some chance to recover, but a sub-100% Benteke is not a very good player. When he lacks his explosiveness he really doesn't add much to the lineup.
So what if he's gone? We can probably expect one of two options. The first would have Andi Weimann slotting into Benteke's position and the second would have Sherwood switching to a one-striker formation with Gabby Agbonlahor all by himself up top. I suppose we could see more of Rushian Hepburn-Murphy or a 4-3-3 formation, but the first two strike me as the most likely options.
The injury crisis on the back line has us all worried, but they've weathered it pretty well. In the meantime, it's taken our eyes off of how thin our bench in up front. Hurry up and get back to speed, Libor Kozak. We need you.