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2015 S.League Team of the Season


Stoke fans seek Diouf return

By ESPN Staff

Fulham's Niemi cleared of serious injury

Antti Niemi has been released from hospital after being cleared of serious spinal damage following a nasty fall in Fulham's 0-0 draw with Watford, according to reports from the BBC.

Niemi has been 'cleared of any spinal cord or spinal column injury', and he will undergo further tests later in the week.

The Finland goalkeeper fell on his head from a considerable height after attempting to clear from his area in a sickening injury that halted play for seven minutes.

He was immediately taken for x-rays and concerned Fulham boss Chris Coleman will wait for the results of the tests before giving a date for his return.

Coleman said: 'We were very worried about Antti. It didn't look very good from the replay. He fell very awkwardly.

'He has got some damage to his neck but he can feel his arms and legs, so that's all right.

'It looks worse on the replay than it actually was but we don't know when he will be back. The most important thing is for him to get better.'

Niemi's agent Richard Cody said: 'Thank God it isn't as worrying as we first feared.

'Great thanks to Fulham for the way they made sure Antti was okay. They reacted very quickly in getting him to hospital and the hospital were magnificent as well.'

Fulham have three goalkeepers on loan at other clubs but Tony Warner is due to return from his spell at Leeds this month and looks the most likely back-up for Jan Lastuvka.

Coleman's latest injury setback was compounded by his side's failure to take all three points at Craven Cottage, despite creating a glut of chances.

Heidar Helguson was denied by a poor offside decision but Fulham only had themselves to blame for the outcome with Brian McBride, Tomasz Radzinski, Carlos Bocanegra and Collins John proving wasteful.

Coleman said: 'This was two points dropped. I'm disappointed because we should have finished Watford off.

'It wasn't a lack of effort, just poor finishing. Helguson definitely wasn't offside for the second, it wasn't even close.

'Radzinski and Collins John both missed one-on-ones and the only positive I can take is a clean sheet.'

Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd sent his side out for the second half with a few home truths ringing in their ears.

They were overrun before the interval with Tommy Smith squandering the only opportunity before making more of a fight of it after the interval.

Boothroyd said: 'That was an exciting match for the neutral. From our point of view it was an appalling first half, probably the worst since I've been manager.

'We didn't do that much better in the second half but at least we stayed in there and we hit the woodwork twice.

'There were things said at half-time that will remain private. My players have responsibilities and fortunately they tidied up in the second half.'