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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 18, 2006

Fulham face six weeks without injured Boa Morte

Fulham boss Chris Coleman faces losing captain Luis Boa Morte for up to six weeks after he sustained a suspected fractured cheekbone in the goalless Premiership draw against Tottenham yesterday.

Boa Morte, ironically a target for Spurs during the summer, was injured in a collision with team-mate Heidar Helguson as both Fulham players went to clear Pascal Chimbonda's goalbound header off the line.

Coleman, who lost the services of midfielder Jimmy Bullard for the rest of the season with a knee injury last week, is hoping that Boa Morte can play on with a mask once the injury has been dealt with by specialists.

Coleman said: 'We think Luis has cracked his cheekbone. There is a dent in his cheek and it has to be pushed back out so it could be three weeks or it could be six. He may have to play with a mask.

'He went for the ball with Helguson but if they both hadn't gone for it, it would have been a goal. But again, we have paid the price for it. So there are plusses and minuses.'

Fulham deserved their point at White Hart Lane with a performance full of grit and determination while Spurs have now failed to score in 343 minutes of football - equalling their worst start to the season for 14 years.

To underline Tottenham's attacking weaknesses, their best efforts fell to their full-backs - Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Chimbonda.

Five minutes before the break, Ekotto forced Antti Niemi into a diving save at his near post with a thunderous right-foot drive while Chimbonda's late header would have gone in but for the bravery of Boa Morte and Helguson.

Spurs have just one win, a 2-0 success against Premiership new boys Sheffield United to show for their efforts so far this season, and have lost England winger Aaron Lennon for six weeks after he underwent knee surgery on Saturday.

They are desperately hoping that £10.8million Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov will finally shake off a groin problem in time to face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Coach Martin Jol said: 'If you have a tear in your groin, it can be five or six weeks.

'He tried it before the game in midweek against Slavia Prague and he tried it again yesterday but it was no good.

'Maybe he needs a another week and hopefully he can be fit for the next game.'

But Jol warned that his side must show more imagination in both midfield and attack if they are to get back to winning ways.

Jol added: 'It's about service and creating something for yourself. Mido played his third game in seven days and we have to expect a bit more from him in the future if Dimitar Berbatov is not there.

'We have to show more imagination to the front players and show more imagination up front. It's not all about finishing, it's about preparing them for the finish. We need a bit more imagination, certainly at home.'

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