Fulham boosted by Johnson fitness assessment

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The Independent Online

Fulham have been boosted by the news that Andrew Johnson's shoulder injury is not as bad as first feared.

Johnson had to be taken off during last night's Europa League qualifier against Amkar Perm in the 66th minute after a hefty bodycheck by defender Dmitry Belorukov.

Hodgson was seething with the challenge, for which the Russian was given a yellow card, and predicted that Johnson could be out for eight weeks with a dislocated shoulder.

The Fulham manager revealed today, however, that the 28-year-old striker could be back in training in as little as two weeks, which could pave the way for a return to first team action within five weeks.

"The ligaments around the collar bone have snapped," the Fulham boss said today.

"I don't think he will be doing any football training for at least two to three weeks and then it's just a question of trying to get him back as quickly as we can after that.

"It's not great news, but on the other hand it doesn't seem to make a difference with that type of injury whether the ligaments are snapped or if they are stretched or damaged in another way.

"He was quite hopeful this morning that he would be back before those eight weeks but of course he is going to be out for a period of time."

Hodgson also revealed he expects the loan deal to bring Jonathan Greening to Fulham to be finalised today.

The West Brom midfielder has passed his medical at the London club, but Hodgson said a few details needed to ironed out before the one-year deal could be finalised.

"He (Greening) has had his medical but at the moment but there are some negotiations carrying on with his agent and the chief executive (Alistair Mackintosh) so I don't know exactly where they are on that," Hodgson explained.

"They are meeting now so I'm presuming that everything will be sorted out regarding the player's contract and the agent's fees.

"We'll train tomorrow morning and the deadline (to register Greening for Sunday's game against Chelsea) is tonight so I think we have a few hours yet.

"Alistair certainly knows that if he gets everything sorted out with the paperwork and the agent's fees we'll be trying to register him in time for the game."

Hodgson admitted he is looking to bring in a player to boost his strikeforce.

With Johnson ruled out for the foreseeable future, and Erik Nevland picking up a knock last night, Hodgson has limited options up front for Sunday's derby against Carlo Ancelotti's side .

The former Inter Milan boss insists, however, he will not be rushed into adding to his squad.

"We always wanted to add to our strikeforce anyway, irrespective of Andy Johnson's injury," Hodgson added.

"We won't be panicked into signing two players because Andy actually won't be out for that long.

"We would like to sign the one other player we have had in our sights since we started back training on July 1.

"We have drawn up a list of players but we haven't put any bids on the table yet."

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