Zamora return put back to February

The England striker Bobby Zamora will be out for five months, Fulham manager Mark Hughes confirmed yesterday. Zamora underwent surgery on Sunday to correct the broken fibula sustained in last weekend's 2-1 victory over Wolves, but additional ankle ligament damage was also discovered.

It was initially thought the 29-year-old would be sidelined for three months, but he must now wait until February at the earliest for his return. Hughes said: "Bobby will be in bed with his leg elevated for two weeks. The operation showed ligament damage so we're probably looking at five months. There are no concerns over his ability to get back to the level he was before the injury."

It was cruel timing as Zamora had only made his England debut the previous weekend with further caps seemingly imminent.

With Andy Johnson still several weeks away from a first-team return, Fulham must now rely on their impressive new signing Moussa Dembele to spearhead their attack.

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