Tim Ream has returned to full training after six weeks out with a back injury sustained during the pre-season friendly with Celta Vigo.

What was expected to a short absence has actually severely disrupted Slavisa Jokanovic’s defensive plans for the club’s top flight return – with Ream sidelined for much longer than anticipated and the American international only able to resume full training this week.

The former Bolton defender was voted Fulham’s player of the season last year, part of an impregnable defence as the Whites went 23 Championship games unbeaten before winning promotion via the play-offs. Ream could well be fastracked back into a defence that has conceded twelve goals already this season – and his experience and familiarity with Slavisa Jokanovic’s preferred system may prove vital in settling things down.