Hodgson hopeful of Duff recovery

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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson hopes the injury which Damien Duff picked up during last night's defeat against Stoke will not rule him out of next week's Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.

Duff hobbled off at half-time during the Barclays Premier League defeat with a leg muscle injury.

The winger has been an integral part of the Cottagers' European campaign, which has seen them brush aside the likes of Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk and Wolfsburg to reach Wednesday's final in Hamburg.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder did emerge after the final whistle to take part in a lap of appreciation for the Fulham fans following the club's last home game of the season.

He will now be monitored by the club's medical staff, who are already working overtime to make sure that top goalscorer Bobby Zamora is fit for Wednesday's final.

"Duff was taken off at half time because he took a kick a while ago and we think one of his muscles was cramping up," said Hodgson.

"That was a blow of course. We hope it's not too serious.

"I hope he'll be fit for the final. There's a week to go now. The medical staff don't think it's a muscle tear or anything like that.

"They think that it's something to do with a kick he took a while ago which is switching off the muscle."

Zamora's physical presence was sorely missed by Fulham's attack last night as Hodgson's team slid to their fifth home defeat of the season with a sub-par performance.

The former Spurs striker has scored 19 times this season, including eight in Fulham's European campaign.

Hodgson revealed that the 29-year-old is struggling to overcome the Achilles injury which has kept him out of the Cottagers' last two matches.

Hodgson said: "Bobby stands a chance of making it but he's not making vast amounts of progress on a daily basis so it could be touch and go."

Matthew Etherington's 82nd-minute strike puts the Potters on 47 points - two more than the total they amassed during their last campaign.

"We're only the second club to have beaten their points tally in their second season so so much for second-season syndrome," said Stoke manager Tony Pulis.

"That's a fantastic achievement for everyone at the club."