Martin Jol revealed the disappointing news in his press conference on Thursday morning that Bryan Ruiz had suffered a setback in his injury rehabilitation.
The Costa Rican playmaker was expected to be available for selection for Monday’s clash with Newcastle United at Craven Cottage (8pm), but an aggravation of his hamstring complaint means he will be out until the New Year.
“He came back on Monday and then he had a setback,” Jol explained. “He will be out for at least four weeks. It’s the same injury; he was in the final stage of his rehabilitation and he aggravated his hamstring muscle again.
“He has had intensive screening and that highlighted some problems. That occurred in his final training session before he was due to join us.
“He had this hamstring injury and we’ve found out it was a structural thing so we got a second opinion and hopefully we’ve found the solution now, but he needs treatment and he will be out for the next four weeks. We’ve sent him to Germany with our people to see a specialist I know from my time in Germany and hopefully he will be fine but, of course, it’s a big disappointment because Bryan is a vital player for us.
“Every time when he played – against Arsenal, Southampton, Wigan Athletic – he was quite important. But we’ve got other players to replace him so good luck to him and he will be back after Christmas.”
There was more positive news regarding the fitness of two other First Teamers, though, with Jol optimistic that both Sascha Riether and Alexander Kačaniklić will be available for selection against the Magpies.
Jol also confirmed that Simon Davies is back in training and expressed his pleasure at once again being able to call upon Brede Hangeland now that the defender has served his three-game ban.
“Sascha picked up a knock [against Tottenham Hotspur],” Jol explained. “It’s a minor knee sprain so he could join us for training on Saturday, hopefully.
“Alex Kačaniklić is back, although in that position we were okay because I still had Kerim Frei and Hugo Rodallega. Kieran Richardson came back too and now, of course, we have Kaca as well.
“Simon Davies is back in training which is nice to see. I asked him on Wednesday and he said he loved being out there with the boys again, because it has been a long time.
“Brede is back on Monday. If you saw, for example, against Chelsea it was okay but against Stoke City we missed him and also against Spurs, although the other players did okay. For us he’s a very important player – he’s my Captain.”
The game against the Tyneside club pits 13th versus 14th in the Barclays Premier League table and Jol is keen to see his side get back on track, although he was quick to point out that the performances have not been as bad as our winless run suggests.
“We’ve have to pick ourselves up and pick some points up,” he admitted. “Although, in the first half against Spurs we had three or four chances more than they had, more attempts on goal.
“Against Sunderland, for example, before the red card we were the better team and that was probably the biggest disappointment because the three points would have put us almost on 20 points. We had injuries on that day as well with Bryan and Alex so I feel that we are good enough to come up with a solution.
Match tickets for the Newcastle game are still available on General Sale, priced from £40 for Adults and £20 for Juniors.
Supporters can buy online from fulhamfc.com/tickets or by calling 0843 208 1234.