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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006, 11:18 GMT
Fulham hit by Niemi injury blow
Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi
Niemi joined Fulham from Southampton for 1m in January
Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi will be out of action for up to a month after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.

The 34-year-old Finnish international was replaced by Czech Republic shot-stopper Jan Lastuvka in Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Blackburn.

Cottagers boss Chris Coleman said: "Antti had a little bit of cartilage floating around and should be back in three weeks to a month."

Lastuvka, 24, is on loan at Craven Cottage from Shakhtar Donetsk.

He was making his first Premiership appearance at Ewood Park and conceded a goal within six minutes when he was beaten by Shabani Nonda's speculative strike.

Benni McCarthy also scored before half-time but Lastuvka grew in confidence as the game went on and made two good saves from Brett Emerton and Lucas Neill.

Coleman said: "It was difficult for him to come in today and obviously he was nervous but overall I thought he was okay."

606 DEBATE: How much will Niemi's absence effect Fulham?

SEE ALSO
Blackburn 2-0 Fulham
02 Dec 06 |  Premiership
Fulham sign Shakhtar goalkeeper
31 Aug 06 |  Fulham


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