Claudio Ranieri fears Alfie Mawson could be sidelined for some time with a knee problem after the defender limped off during Fulham’s win over Huddersfield Town this afternoon.

The former Swansea centre back had to be substituted at half time after suffering an injury when turning during the first half and the Fulham manager is concerned about the seriousness of the problem. The 24 year-old has a history of knee problems and had surgery at the end of last season after injuring his knee during the warm-up ahead of Swansea’s FA Cup tie against Sheffield United. Recovery from that operation meant that Mawson was not fully fit after signing for the Whites in the summer and had to wait until late August to make his Fulham debut.

Ranieri revealed that the injury to his commanding centre back ruined his plans to introduce Ryan Sessegnon during the half-time break. He told his post-match press conference:

I wanted to make two changes but at the end Mawson was injured. I had to wait to put Sessegnon and I put him on in the last ten minutes because then I can take a risk. Also Mitrovic played yesterday with a fever and I didn’t know [at half-time] if he can continue. Fortunately he is strong man and he continued all the match,

Maxime Le Marchand, who replaced Mawson for the second half, will be first in line to step into the Fulham defence should the former England under-21 international be ruled out of the trip to Arsenal on New Year’s Day.