Fulham handed striker boost

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Fulham have organised a series of friendlies behind closed doors to help striker Andy Johnson get back to full fitness following his eight-month injury lay-off.

Johnson returned to first team training this week after being out since January with a knee injury which he picked up against Blackburn and Fulham boss Mark Hughes has revealed the measures laid out to help the return of the £10.5million man, who underwent an operation performed by world-renowned surgeon Dr Richard Steadman earlier this year.

"Andy [Johnson] is joining in with the senior squad and we've got matches, behind closed doors, organised for his benefit in the coming weeks," Hughes told "Hopefully he'll get through them okay and he'll be an option, albeit initially on the bench."

Johnson's return will be a welcome boost to Hughes, who has seen his striking options reduced thanks to recent injuries to Mousa Dembele and Bobby Zamora.

Dembele, who has scored three goals since arriving from AZ Alkmaar this summer, is out for at least a fortnight with an ankle injury while England striker Zamora is expected to be out until February with a broken leg.

Hughes also hopes that back-up strikers Eddie Johnson and Diomansy Kamara can step up to the plate in the duo's absence.

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