Bobby Zamora fitness verdict is closely guarded secret
Published 29/04/2010 | 15:26
Fulham will keep Hamburg guessing over the fitness of Bobby Zamora ahead of tonight's Europa League semi-final, second leg at Craven Cottage.
A decision on whether Zamora is fit to face the Germans was due to be made at noon, but it will not be made public, leaving Hamburg to play a guessing game.
Zamora's presence would be crucial to the club's hopes of reaching their first major final since 1975, and hope remains that for such an important game, the striker will be able to play.
But Roy Hodgson, the Fulham manager, also insisted that he would not take a chance on Zamora's Achilles heel if it threatened his future fitness.
Hodgson admitted Zamora, who has scored eight of his 19 goals in Europe this season, could need a minor operation, which could put in doubt his availability for England at the World Cup finals.
But even if Zamora is not fit, Hodgson believes he has the men capable of beating Hamburg. Just one goal would take Fulham back to Hamburg for the final, against Liverpool or Atletico Madrid, following last week's impressive 0-0 draw.
“We will be happy if he can play but if he can't we will accept that as part and parcel of football, injuries occur,” said Hodgson, who was without Zamora for the 2-1 defeat at Everton last weekend.
“We know we have other players in the team who can keep our play going as we saw on Sunday.
“There are a lot of options. There is Clint Dempsey and Erik Nevland, and David Elm is now fit again. I will make the decision when I have got to make it but I know those players are there for me.”