Fulham could throw Jari Litmanen into the heat of a relegation dogfight after the veteran forward convinced manager Roy Hodgson of his fitness.

Litmanen, 37, has yet to make a first-team appearance since joining the Cottagers on a free transfer in January following his release from Swedish side Malmo.

However, following a month readjusting to life in the Premier League, the former Liverpool playmaker is now available for selection.

Hodgson revealed he could have risked the ex-Barcelona and Ajax star in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United, but preferred to be patient.

“Arguably, he’s physically fit to play now but he’s been resting,” he said.

“He did a light training session on Thursday and Friday. If we were down to ten players then there’s no question he’d play and I have no doubt he’d play the 90 minutes and be running as much at the end as in the beginning.

“Of course, we’re not in that situation so we don’t take that risk. We want to give him a full week’s training before we even consider him.

“When the opportunity to sign Jari Litmanen came up it seemed like an opportunity too good to miss.

“He was a free agent and his wage demands were unbelievably reasonable. It was one of those bonuses that sometimes come your way that you’d be foolish not to take advantage of.

“How much of a part he plays depends on how the other players perform.”