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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 9 hours ago
By ESPN Staff
Jan 3, 2007

Niemi to be 'back in weeks' after neck injury

Fulham expect injured goalkeeper Antti Niemi to 'be back in a matter of weeks' after confirming an MRI scan showed no spinal damage.

Niemi fell on his head after attempting to clear the ball from his area in Monday's goalless draw with Watford, forcing play to be halted for seven minutes.

The Finland international was taken to hospital and checked by doctors, and Fulham have confirmed no long-term damage has been done.

A statement on the club website said: 'Following the awkward fall at Monday's game, Antti Niemi has completed an MRI scan and the club can officially confirm there is no spinal cord or spinal column damage.

'The scan showed some irritation to the related soft tissues in his neck, but there is no significant ligamentous or muscle injury, which is very positive.

'As expected, at the moment he has some pain and a reduction in the range of movement in his neck, which will need to improve before he can train fully.

'Antti is very keen to get back as soon as possible, but every precaution is being taken by the medical team at this stage and he is currently resting, but the club is confident that he will be back in a matter of weeks.'

Niemi said: 'Having seen the incident on television I can see it looked very bad, but fortunately it looked a lot worse than it was.

'However, I consider myself very lucky as the outcome could have been much worse. I would like to thank everybody that sent good wishes after the game and I'm confident that I'll be back in a few weeks' time playing again.'