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Thursday 20 September 2012

Fulham fear lengthy absence for Diarra

Midfielder may miss most of the season after injuring his knee while on international duty with Mali

Mahamadou Diarra injured his knee on his return to the Mali side

Fulham manager Martin Jol has admitted his fears that Mahamadou Diarra could be ruled out for most of the season.

Jol revealed the potential extent of the injury that Diarra suffered while making his return from international exile with Mali this month for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Botswana.

The 31-year-old, who had not played for his country for more than a year, damaged his left knee and had to miss Fulham's 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

The Fulham manager confirmed that Diarra required some form of surgery and would miss at least another three weeks. But if he is found to have damaged his cruciate ligament, he could be out for up to five months.

"There's a little piece of cartilage floating in his knee, so we have to operate that in any case, and that can be three or four weeks," said Jol, who is expecting to learn the extent of the damage next week. "But if there is damage to his cruciate ligament, for example, it will take a lot longer. It will take him three, four, five months at least."

Fulham have confirmed that goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has joined Bristol Rovers on a one-month loan deal.

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Key Points

  • Mahamadou Diarra may miss most of season with knee injury
  • Player was injured while returning to international duty with Mali
  • Martin Jol hopes to learn next week how long the player will be absent for