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Fulham manager Mark Hughes has confirmed that star striker Bobby Zamora will be out for five months after sustaining ankle ligament damage as well as a broken fibula.

The England international suffered the injury in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Wolves and it was immediately feared that he was facing a long period on the sidelines.

Zamora underwent a successful operation on his broken fibula over the weekend and it was predicted that his rehabilitation period would last for around four months.

But the ligament damage means that the forward is not expected to be back until February next year, which comes as a major setback to Fulham.

Hughes said: “Bobby’s had his operation. He will now be in bed with his leg elevated for two weeks.

“The operation showed ligament damage so we’re probably now looking at five months.

“We want to help Bobby get back quickly and there are no concerns over his ability to get back to the level he was before he got injured.”

Zamora, who scored 19 goals for Fulham last season, only signed a new four-year contract with the club at the beginning of September, so the injury comes as a cruel piece of timing.

England manager Fabio Capello will also be disappointed by the news after the Italian appeared set to include the 29-year-old in his plans on a regular basis.