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Fulham wait on AJ return

21 Oct 2009 16:38:47

Fulham wait on AJ return

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is optimistic Andrew Johnson will be fit to return from a groin injury against Liverpool at the end of the month. Johnson sat out Monday's 2-0 home win over Hull City in the Premier League with the injury and will also miss Thursday's Europa League tie against Roma. Hodgson does not expect the striker to be available for the weekend trip to Manchester City, but hopes the injury will have healed in time for Liverpool's visit to Craven Cottage on October 31. "Andy's problem was in the groin area where he had a serious strain that has kept him out of the last two or three matches," said Hodgson. "They've now localised the point and given him an injection. They think the injection will help enormously in speeding up the recovery process. "It's a positive piece of news and I don't think he's that far away, but I'd be very surprised if he's even in consideration for Sunday's game against Manchester City. Who knows, maybe the game after that he'll have a chance." Meanwhile, ahead of the game against Roma, Hodgson has reiterated that the Premier League remains Fulham's priority despite a promising start to the Europa League group phase which has reaped four points from two games. He added: "It is the league that counts and we make no apologies for resting players because that is our priority. "At the same time we are trying our very best and so far have done well in both." Hodgson is also looking forward to pitting his wits against former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri, who is now coach of Roma. "We were very friendly when he was at Fiorentina and I was at Inter," Hodgson said. "He's one of the coaches I have had a very good rapport with. "I'm pleased to see him back and working at such a club, but I would have preferred not facing such a quality coach this week."


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