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Roy Hodgson has admitted that Damien Duff will play no part in Fulham’s Europa League game in Rome on Thursday evening.

The Irish international was forced off at half-time during the Cottagers’ 3-1 win over Liverpool yesterday and Hodgson says the problem continues to be an Achilles complaint that has kept Duff sidelined for much of his brief Fulham career. His absence will be a big blow for the Whites, who came so close to beating Roma at the Cottage a couple of weeks ago.

It’s an injury he has been struggling with for a while. It stems from his Achilles, although it’s a little bit more complicated than that.

There is no way I would even consider him for Roma. I will ask the medical staff to take as long as they need to try to get him back into shape as quickly as they can.

Hodgson reckons Duff might be able to take part in the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup play-off matches later this month against France.

It is very hard stopping Damien playing for the Republic of Ireland. You have to lock him in a cage. And if he’s fit for next Sunday then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t play for the Republic.