Fulham fear midfielder Jimmy Bullard could be out for the rest of the season despite initial reports that he would be back in just eight weeks after injuring his right knee in the 2-1 win at Newcastle on Saturday.

Bullard himself said on Monday that an x-ray revealed there “was no bone damage” after his clash with Newcastle’s Scott Parker and that the problem was simply a knee cap dislocation.

But now the £2.5million signing from Wigan has completed an MRI investigation and a full review of his injury which suggests his absence will be more like eight months than eight weeks through what is reportedly cruciate ligament damage.

Fulham released an official statement statement saying: “The club can confirm that Jimmy has sustained a serious injury to his right knee and will undergo surgery as soon as possible. He will then require a lengthy period of rehabilitation and the club will report further progress as soon as there are any developments. Until then everyone at the club, including its supporters, wishes Jimmy well.”

Bullard had made a brilliant start at Craven Cottage after joining from Wigan in the summer. He rescued a point with a penalty against Bolton Wanders on his home debut and curled home the winner against Sheffield United three days later. Fulham boss Chris Coleman is keen to keep him involved the squad. He told Fulham’s official website: “Jimmy is a superb lad, an infectious character and even though he’s injured I’ll make sure he stays involved, even if we have to bring him away from home on games.

“As long as it doesn’t interfere with his rehabilitation then that’s what we’ll do. He has a fantastic effect on everybody. Ideally we want to travel to away games on the day of the match to make it more like a home game but you can only really do that with the London derbies. We flew up (to Newcastle) on Friday but we’ve adjusted the times the players eat. They get up early in the morning and we get them active. We’ve asked them a lot of questions to see what they prefer on our away trips.”