Fulham boss Mark Hughes has revealed that Moussa Dembele will only be out of action for a maximum of three weeks.
Dembele was feared to have broken his ankle following a strong tackle from Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson in the closing stages of Tuesday’s 2-0 Carling Cup defeat at the Britannia Stadium.
Hughes was furious with the late tackle which he felt would sideline his £5million summer signing from AZ Alkmaar for a lengthy period.
The Cottagers have already lost first-choice striker Bobby Zamora for five months to a broken leg.
However, scans on Dembele have revealed only ligament damage and Hughes expects his three-goal striker to be back in action next month.
“Moussa had a scan after the initial impact of the injury had settled down,” he explained.
“At the moment it looks like he’ll be out for two to three weeks. He should be fit and well after the international break.
“The challenge was unnecessary and we’re thankful the injury isn’t more serious than it is.
“At the time I was extremely angry and made my feelings known.
“We’ve been really pleased with what Dembele has produced and he’s been a big reason behind the positive start we’ve had.
“Not to have him available because of a tackle so late in the game is frustrating for everybody.”