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Grygera suffers thigh strain

Zdenek Grygera has suffered a thigh injury which could hinder the defender’s chances of earning a new contract with Fulham.

Grygera moved to Craven Cottage in August 2011 but injured his cruciate ligament last November, saw his deal expire with Martin Jol’s side in the summer but the Fulham boss has admitted he would be willing to offer the Czech defender a new contract if he can prove his fitness.

Grygera has featured for Fulham’s reserves in his attempt to recover from injury and Jol admits the club were willing to make a decision regarding the player’s future before his latest setback.

“Grygera has had a setback because he got injured. He looked ever so well, played in the reserves and kept them together and they had better results than before,” Jol told the Fulham Chronicle.

“He has a thigh problem so we have to wait and see because we wanted to make a decision on him in the next week and now there’s a little step back again.”

The Czech Republic international has made only seven appearances for the London outfit.

Injury-Hit Defenders On Way To Recovery

Grygera impressed despite a limited number of appearances

Some positive news out of Fulham this week with the recoveries of centre halves Philippe Senderos and Zdenek Grygera. Following a 90-minute run out against an Oman side behind closed doors twelve days ago Grygera completed further minutes in the U21 team this week, whereas Senderos has just returned to first-team training with a view to some reserve football action in order to build his match fitness.

Grygera’s contract situation remains up in the air. After suffering a season-ending injury in November of last year, the Czech international remained with the club in order to build up his fitness. With his contract expiring in last June, Grygera is technically not attached to any club, but should he prove himself enough Jol would be able to resign the versatile defender outside of the transfer window. Senderos meanwhile has just 8 months left on his contract and would be eager to demonstrate he is worthy of an extension after being a staple in the first team squad last season.


Grygera’s getting back to full fitness

Czech defender hoping to prove his fitness by end of August

Perhaps the most pleasing part of my afternoon in the Craven Cottage sunshine yesterday was meeting Zden?k Grygera.

The Czech defender has shown tremendous courage and professionalism in recovering so swiftly from his horrible anterior cruciate knee injury sustained during the defeat by Tottenham last November that so cruelly cut short an impressive start to his Fulham career. Gygera, who has undergone two operations on his injured knee, has made brief substitute appearances during the club’s pre-season campaign and, at half-time during the first team’s final friendly against Charlton, he told me that he was hoping to build on that with 45 minutes at Walton Casuals this afternoon.

At 32, a serious injury – as well as the setbacks he has suffered since after two visits to see Dr. Richard Steadman – might have persuased some players to hang up their boots. Not Gygera, who willing chatted and signed autographs yesterday, and is eager to return to the first team picture after his promising introduction into Martin Jol’s side last season. A matter of days after concluding a deal to arrive from Juventus late in the transfer window, Grygera made an assured debut at home to FC Twente in the Europa League and then was a commanding presence having been switched to the centre of defence for the League Cup clash at Stamford Bridge.

It is no coincidence that Fulham kept four clean sheets in his seven appearances before that anguished scream on the stroke of half time in front of the Riverside Stand and I certainly hope the experienced defender is pushing for a place in the first team squad sooner rather than later. His longevity in the game – and a stellar international record that includes representing the Czech Republic at three major tournament – as well as Gygera’s cool confidence on the ball make him a really valuable asset.

Jol mulls over giving Grygera new deal

Martin Jol is considering offering Zdenek Grygera a new contract – but wants the Czech defender to get back to full fitness before making a final decisionabout his Fulham future.

The 31 year-old enjoyed a great start to his Craven Cottage career after joining from Juventus on a free transfer towards the end of the summer transfer window, but his season ended early when he ruptured cruciate knee ligaments against Tottenham in November. Having only signed a short-term contract until the end of the season, the versatile defender’s future is up in the air – although Jol admits he feels the club should help him return to fitness before deciding whether to extend his contract.

I feel we owe it to him to keep him here and get him fit, and then we can make a decision, or he can if he has other offers.

The main thing for him is to get fit. That won’t be until the middle of July and then we can make a decision. He did well from the first match, which is very unusual [for a player new to English football].

I was very happy with him. He can play left-back, right-back or centre-back, but it’s not a minor injury. It isn’t easy to come back to full fitness if you’re that age.

Pogrebnyak passed fit

Martin Jol confirmed that Pavel Pogrebnyak will be fit to face QPR in Saturday’s local derby during his pre-match press conference this lunchtime.

The Russian striker had an immediate impact on debut, scoring the opening goal in the 2-1 win over Stoke City a fortnight ago, but was forced off with a heel problem in the second half. Jol also revealed that both Andy Johnson and Phillipe Senderos have recovered from groin injuries to be available for selection at Loftus Road:

Pavel Pogrebnyak is fit to play and hopefully he will score again on Saturday. Everyone is fit and available for selection apart from two players.

Steve Sidwell is unavailable after a small operation and of course Zdenek Grygera is out for the rest of the season. Philippe Senderos, Orlando Sa and Andrew Johnson are all back.