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Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 13:14 UK

Fulham worry over fitness of striker Bobby Zamora

Bobby Zamora in action for Fulham against Hamburg
Zamora has scored 17 goals for Fulham this season

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson expects to lose Bobby Zamora for Sunday's trip to Everton after the striker aggravated an Achilles injury against Hamburg.

Zamora, 29, limped off after 52 minutes as his side drew their Europa League semi-final first leg 0-0 in Germany.

"He has an Achilles problem and we're trying to manage it," said Hodgson.

"It is not a fresh injury so we hope a week gives us the chance to put it right because I would say he has no chance of being fit for Sunday."

Zamora said he would do everything possible to be fit for the return leg against Hamburg at Craven Cottage on 29 April.

"I have had an Achilles tendon problem for a long time," said Zamora.

"It has been niggling at me for a bit now and I just did a little bit too much but I really hope to play next Thursday, I am desperate to be part of that."

Zamora has scored 19 goals this season, including eight in Europe, but he needed treatment during the warm-up on Thursday and moved gingerly throughout the match.

"He has missed one or two league games but he felt OK yesterday and we hope he would get through the game," added Hodgson.

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"But even in the first half he was struggling with it. The medical staff gave him the all-clear to start the second half but they warned me I might have to take him off."

Fulham's draw in the HSH Nordbank Arena leaves the tie evenly-poised, and both clubs will remain confident of reaching the final - in the same stadium - on 12 May.

Hamburg dominated possession for long periods but a stubborn Cottagers back line repelled everything the hosts threw at them, while visiting goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer made four fine saves in the second half.

Zoltan Gera almost put Hodgson's men ahead in the first half when his shot was deflected narrowly wide, and the Hungarian went through on goal after half-time but lost his footing.

Fulham have never lost a European game at Craven Cottage but Hodgson played down the suggestion that his side now have a sizeable advantage.

"It would be worse than dangerous, it would be downright foolish," added the Cottagers boss of the prospect of thinking victory had already been achieved.

"We are at half-time, and we have to play another 90-minute half. Not many people leave stadiums at half-time, or go for a cup of tea thinking the game has been won.

"There is a lot of football to be played and Hamburg are a very good team. If they score a goal next week the advantage passes to them.

"The tie is open but I am delighted about that because it is very easy to put yourself out of contention."

Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia agreed with Hodgson's assessment of the tie, and claimed he expected Fulham to pack the midfield areas having watched their encounter with Wolfsburg in the previous round.

"As expected this was a very difficult game and as expected they played very defensively," Labbadia said.

"I was a little bit surprised they stayed back so much. Our problem was that we didn't quite get enough crosses in.

"We knew there wouldn't be a way through the middle, we saw that from the Wolfsburg game.

"All in all the game's in the balance and we can still achieve what we set out to do."



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see also
Hamburg 0-0 Fulham
22 Apr 10 |  Europe
Hodgson delighted with draw
22 Apr 10 |  Fulham
Everyone worked well - Schwarzer
22 Apr 10 |  Fulham
Europa League as it happened
22 Apr 10 |  Football
Europa League photos
22 Apr 10 |  Football
From the Cottage to the Continent
22 Apr 10 |  Europe
Europa semis get Uefa green light
19 Apr 10 |  Europe


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