Fulham news

Friendlies arranged to help Johnson

September 28, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Fulham have organised a series of friendlies behind closed doors to help Andy Johnson get back to full fitness and alleviate their striker shortage.

Andy Johnson
GettyImagesAndy Johnson's last appearance for Fulham was on January 17

With Mousa Dembele and Bobby Zamora both out injured, Johnson's return would be a welcome boost for manager Mark Hughes, but the striker lacks match fitness following his eight-month injury layoff.

The £10.5 million striker underwent a knee operation performed by world-renowned surgeon Dr Richard Steadman earlier this year and returned to first-team training this week.

"Andy [Johnson] is joining in with the senior squad and we've got matches, behind closed doors, organised for his benefit in the coming weeks," Hughes told the club's website. "Hopefully he'll get through them okay and he'll be an option, albeit initially on the bench."

Dembele, who has scored three goals since arriving from AZ Alkmaar this summer, is out for at least a fortnight with an ankle injury while England striker Zamora is expected to be out until February with a broken leg.

Hughes also hopes that backup strikers Eddie Johnson and Diomansy Kamara can step up to the plate in the duo's absence.