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Scott Parker hopes that another knee injury won’t keep Fulham captain Tom Cairney on the sidelines for too long.

The Scottish international has not featured since Fulham’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle back in December and the Fulham manager is determined not to rush his playmaker back before he is fully fit. Cairney has made eleven appearances this term and has showed signs, particularly in the 2-0 win over West Brom in November, of recapturing some of his best form. Speaking at today’s press conference ahead of the forthcoming meeting with Manchester United, Parker said:

“We’re hoping he’ll be back before too long. He’s got an ongoing issue which is more of a management issue really in the sense of it’s been going on for some months now, and it probably will be ongoing for some weeks and months. It’s an issue that came up in a friendly game a few months ago that we had at the training ground, and he’s been nursing it a bit. It’s got to the point where it’s little bit irritable and it’s holding him back.”

“I think it just depends when we can get Tom to a comfortable level and push him on from there and see how he reacts. I’m hoping it won’t be too much longer but, at the same time, that may be the case.”

Cairney, who has made 217 appearances in five and a half years at Craven Cottage, has a history of serious knee injuries. He was badly injured when playing for Hull as a teenager and missed significant periods of Fulham’s 2017/2018 promotion campaign having been sidelined by a significant knee problem. The good news is that this injury is affecting the 29 year-old’s other knee, but it is clearly too early to put a date on his return to action.