Rufus on the return

Sunday 14 July 2002

The selection of Jon Harley at leftback for the first leg Intertoto Cup match against FC Haka led to some puzzled looks around Craven Cottage as to why Rufus Brevett wasn't playing.

After the arrival of Harley last season, many were tipping Brevett to be demoted to a place on the bench for the rest of the campaign.

A number of solid performances later and Brevett had ensured that it was Harley who would be fighting for his place in the starting line-up.

Speaking to Fulham Today, Brevett explained his absence from the Intertoto matches against FC Haka.

"I tore my groin muscle at the end of last season. It's a lot better now but I'm going to be a couple of weeks behind everyone else in terms of fitness. I've done all the running but it's just not right when I've playing with the ball.

"I did a lot of recovery work during the close-season. I went over to France to a rehabilitation centre for ten days, which was very beneficial.

"I think I only had about three weeks off during the summer, but when you get injured at the end of the season, you don't really want to come back with the injury. So I've been working all through the summer trying to get it right.

"I'm now back in full training, in that I'm doing all the running and fitness work. I do a little bit of ball work but when they start playing a game, I have to drop out. Hopefully, it will be another couple of weeks before I start fully joining in."

Being on the sidelines has also given Rufus time to run his eye over Fulham's latest signing, Facundo Sava.

Sava was often tipped for a move to Europe during his time at Gimnasia La Plata and according to press reports in Italy last season, his exploits in front of goal were even attracting attention from Lazio and Parma.

Since many in his homeland likened his style of play to that of a typical European striker, a move across the Atlantic seemed inevitable.

"Sava gives us another alternative," said Brevett. "We've got Barry Hayles, who I thought was our best striker last season. You know what Louis Saha can do.

"But Facundo has a good touch about him, he's good in the air and he's also quite strong. He can provide a good link between the front men if you want to change things around."