It is unlikely that Queens Park Rangers captain Ji-Sung Park will have got over his injury problems in time to face Southampton on Saturday according to under-fire Hoops boss Mark Hughes.
Park has not played for QPR since their Premier League draw with Everton last month, after struggling with a knee problem. While he may not become available to face Southampton, it is thought he could be in the frame to play former club Manchester United at Old Trafford the following week.
“Ji’s still been struggling with his knee but we’re hopeful he’ll start training and then figure, possibly not this weekend but the one after,” Hughes said.
However, the QPR manager does insist that his injured players are getting nearer to returning to fitness.
“The injuries are clearing and we’re getting a few back. Kieron Dyer will hopefully be an option,” he added.
If Park is absent again for the Southampton match, it could be a big disadvantage to the Hoops. The Southampton game is a significant one for Hughes’ side and a game that they really need to win to take the pressure off both the manager and players.
Hughes believes QPR have to have strength in this difficult time and is quoted as saying to QPR’s official website: “It’s difficult for everyone at the moment, but we’ve just got to be really strong and get through this period.
“Other teams will have periods where it doesn’t go right for them, but it’s up to us to be strong and understand that we have to make it happen – and we will do.”
Fears are also growing as to whether Ryan Nelsen will be fully fit for the game, after he withdrew from playing for his country New Zealand this week.