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Tom Cairney has suffered another setback in his bid to return from a troublesome knee injury and play a part in Fulham’s fight for Premier League survival.

The Fulham skipper had returned to training after successful laser surgery on his knee but head coach Scott Parker revealed that the Scottish international had to be withdrawn from Motspur Park sessions earlier this week. The 30 year-old, who hasn’t featured since Fulham drew 1-1 at Newcastle before Christmas, has started a new training programme after the recent hiccup in his recovery but Parker told his pre-match press conference that his playmaker’s fitness will need to be carefully monitored.

“He had a bit of a setback last week, albeit a minor one. He had a little bit of time off. He’s now back with us. But again, it’s part training and modified training. We’re going to have manage it a little bit now and we’re hoping we can get past this sticky point and see where we are.”

Cairney’s current problem is in a different knee to the one that he injured badly during Fulham’s 2017/2018 promotion session but with his history of knee complaints the club are keen not to take any risks with his return. The former Blackburn midfielder has made just eleven appearances this season, scoring a single goal.