Roy Hodgson is sweating on the fitness of striker Andy Johnson ahead of the Cottagers’ televised clash with Arsenal at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Johnson was forced to sit out the weekend’s 2-1 defeat at new-boys Hull City as Fulham got their Premier League campaign off to a disappointing start.
And Hodgson revealed the £10m hitman may not be ready for his home bow just yet.
Hodgson said: “When we started negotiations with him he had got a strain in his left thigh in training with Everton just before they went to America.
“The problem was that during the negotiations there was a break in his treatment which wasn’t exactly advantageous.
“We weren’t allowed to treat him and he wasn’t getting treated at Everton.
“We started the treatment on him as soon as we could but that was five days after the incident and unfortunately that probably cost us a week.
“Had he had continuous treatment I am sure he would have been fit for the Hull game.
“But we do not want to take any risks as he could be out for a further period of time.”
With Johnson on the sidelines Seol Ki-Hyeon partnered Bobby Zamora in attack at the KC Stadium, with the Korean grabbing the opening goal.
But Hodgson is looking forward to welcoming Johnson into his strikeforce, and dismissed the hefty price tag.
Hodgson added: “You do not get the quality of striker we are looking for on free transfers and you don’t get them cheap either.
“If you want the guarantee that this is a player who has been in the Premiership, who knows the Premiership and has scored goals in the Premiership then you have to pay the money.”