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Trending: Crowd incident mars Everton game

By ESPN Staff

Fulham striker Johnson to miss season opener

Fulham's £10.5million summer signing Andrew Johnson has been ruled out of the Premier League season opener at Hull.

The England international has yet to recover from a thigh strain he picked up while still at Everton.

And manager Roy Hodgson revealed the complex negotiations to take the former Crystal Palace front-man to Craven Cottage had also prevented the problem from being treated in time.

He said: 'Andy Johnson will not be able to feature because he had a thigh strain when he came to the club and we don't want to take the risk with that, although I'm pretty sure he will be able to play against Arsenal the following week.

'When we started our negotiations he had taken part in a shooting practice at Everton just before they left for America and got a strain in his left thigh.

'Then the problem was that during the negotiations there was a break in the treatment, which wasn't advantageous because we weren't allowed to treat him.

'We started to treat him as soon as we could, which was four or five days after the incident but that unfortunately has cost us a week.

'Had he had continuous treatment I'm sure he would have been fit for this week but unfortunately that hiatus has cost us.'

Hodgson also made it clear he would not be allowing left-back Paul Konchesky to leave the club.

The former West Ham and Charlton player is reportedly a £2million target for Blackburn should Stephen Warnock leave.

But Hodgson insisted: 'I have no idea where that story has come from. No-one has approached us about Paul Konchesky because it is pretty obvious to everyone we are not interested in the slightest about selling Paul Konchesky.

'And if I was Paul Konchesky I would be very sad to see my name linked with a £2million transfer when I am a player who is worth a lot more than that.

'God only knows where that has come from. There must be a reason for it. Someone must have an agenda and is using Paul's name to further it.

'Paul Konchesky is not for sale. He is our star left-back.'

Hodgson also took the opportunity to scotch rumours he was about to recruit former Birmingham striker Walter Pandiani, currently at Osasuna in Spain.

He said: 'His name has never even been mentioned in the eight months I have been at this club.

'To be perfectly honest, I had forgotten he existed. I have no idea where he plays. We have no intention of signing another striker.'


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