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Hughes: Breaks are for the healthy

28 September 2010

Sheesh, can't anyone stay healthy around here?

Well, you can’t accuse Mark Hughes of waiting around for his ailing strikers to get fit, and given Fulham’s current lack of firepower, you can’t blame the Cottagers’ manager for doing all he can to improve his options.

According to a Soccernet report, Hughes is going to utilize the upcoming international break to hold a series of closed-door friendlies to help speed the return to form of long-injured striker Andrew Johnson.

“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, according to the report. “Hopefully, he’ll get through them okay and he’ll be an option, albeit initially on the bench.”

It’s impossible to find video clips of anything the brittle Johnson has done since joining Fulham, but here’s an injury-time game-winner when he was at Everton:

If healthy, he’s a capable scorer, so if Johnson is available off the bench on Oct. 16 when Fulham host Spurs, it likely would signal the end to the Cottagers’ early-season attacking woes. Moussa Dembele, last seen writhing in anguish during injury time at Stoke, is also expected to be back for that match and Diomansy Kamara made his return to the first team in this past weekend’s 0-0 draw with Everton.

That’s all good news for a team that still will be without leading scorer Bobby Zamora until February. At least it means we’re not likely to see Eddie Johnson get 40 minutes in a Prem match again this season.

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