Fulham defender Brede Hangeland out for a further 10 weeks

The announcement is a massive blow for the struggling side

Brede Hangeland's “awkward” surgery to clear sciatic nerve trouble will keep him sidelined past the 10-week mark, according to Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen.

The influential defender has missed more than a month with nerve damage that has affected his right leg.

Fulham had hoped to bring the 32-year-old back to full fitness without the need for an operation.

But now the Norway defender has had to bite the surgery bullet, and will need six more weeks to recover.

New Fulham boss Meulensteen conceded his absence will be a big loss during the pivotal Christmas period.

He said: "Brede is a bit of a disappointment to be honest, because we have looked at all medical strategies and it's a bit of an awkward one.

"He's seen another surgeon and a specialist and I think they have decided that they're going for the surgery, which will keep him out for at least six weeks.

"But on a positive note we know now, there's clarity.

"And the one thing that I want for such an important player for us, is that he can focus on the rehabilitation so when he comes back he will be like a new player for us."

Fulham host Aston Villa at Craven Cottage in Sunday's lunchtime kick-off in the Barclays Premier League, seeking to hit back from Wednesday's 2-1 Tottenham loss.

Striker Darren Bent is unable to face his parent club due to the terms of his loan deal, while Kieran Richardson is a doubt after illness and hamstring trouble.

Defender Phillipe Senderos is fighting a thigh problem, while Hugo Rodallega will not make a return to training until next week.

Meulensteen admitted he hopes former Arsenal centre back Senderos will beat his thigh complaint in time to face Paul Lambert's Villa side.

"Phillipe gave a monstrous performance (against Tottenham), he had a bit of a thigh strain," he told Fulham's official website.

"But the way he played himself through it was characteristic of the performance, and I paid him a big, big compliment about that.

"Darren (Bent) is not allowed to play because of the loan deal.

"Kieran we have to assess, unfortunately he couldn't be in on Friday because of illness, so we need to monitor that as well.

"Further than that I think obviously Hugo Rodallega is still working back to fitness and will come back to training with us next week."

PA

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Travel
travel
News
Robyn Lawley
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine