Fulham manager Martin Jol will welcome Bryan Ruiz back to his matchday squad on Saturday when Fulham travel to Villa Park looking to record their fourth successive Barclays Premier League victory.
“Bryan Ruiz is back,” Jol confirmed during his pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon. “He was ill last weekend. He had a virus and stayed in bed for a couple of days but he’s back now.”
Jol will be without Stephen Kelly for Saturday’s trip to the Midlands and fellow defender Aaron Hughes is a serious doubt after picking up a calf injury during training on Thursday.
“Stephen Kelly is unavailable this weekend because of an injury to his right quad,” explained Jol. “He’ll probably return to training on the 13th March.
“Aaron Hughes has got a little problem with his left calf so he withdrew from training [on Thursday]. Hopefully he can be involved but we’ll have to assess him on Friday.
“Of course Zdenek Grygera is out with a long term injury and Steve Sidwell will be out for another two weeks.”
Fulham’s most recent signing, Mahamadou Diarra, made his Club debut as a second half substitute against Wolves last weekend and Jol believes the former Real Madrid midfielder is nearing full match fitness.
“You could see that he [Diarra] needs a couple of games,” said Jol. “In training he looks good and he’s probably 80 or 90 percent now. It’s a decision to make if he starts on Saturday or whether he comes on [from the bench] again.”