From the Croydon Guardian.
Palace captain Neil Shipperley has admitted his persistent knee injury is likely to need an operation which could prevent the big striker from making an emotional return to Stamford Bridge.
Shipperley has not played a competitive game since scoring the winning goal in last year's play-off final, due to tendonitis in the knee which has gradually got worse over the past six months.
He played the whole 90 minutes of Palace's reserve game with Southampton last week, but the injury was still causing him problems.
Shipperley said: "I felt it all the way through and I wasn't comfortable with that, it's been very frustrating to say the least.
"I've had it bad for six months now, but I played the last couple of seasons with it when it wasn't a big thing, but it's started to get gradually worse and it has got to be sorted out."
Palace boss Iain Dowie revealed yesterday that an operation could rule his skipper out for four to five months and club doctors look set to confirm today that an operation is required.
Shipperly said: "If I was to have the operation, I would have to go with what the surgeons say, and although it's not a major operation, it's in a sore place in the knee cap.
"The rehabilitation from the operation will also take a while."
After captaining Palace to promotion last year, the former Chelsea man was looking forward to a "little bash at the Premiership" and playing against the club where he made his name.
Shipperly said: "I would love to go back to Stamford Bridge without a doubt. It's been a long time since I've played there but I tried to go along to a couple of games last season and the stadium now looks really nice." But despite being out injured the Palace skipper is still motivating the players and makes an appearance in the dressing room before each game. Shipperley added: "I go in before the game and show my face and wish everyone all the best. I gee the lads up and it just shows signs of the togetherness there, it's the best togetherness I have ever had at a club."
Bad luck for the big fella