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Souness struggles against injuries

last updated Wednesday 11th October 2000, 2:46 PM

Graham Souness
Graham Souness struggles for points
Manager Graeme Souness is sweating over his forwards for Sunday's crucial meeting with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Injuries to Welsh duo Nathan Blake and James Thomas are causing concern ahead of the game against Jean Tigana's runaway leaders who have yet to drop a point this season.

Blake is struggling to be fit for Wales' clash with Poland tonight after picking up a thigh injury. Should he miss the World Cup qualifier, he would become a doubt for Sunday's League clash.

Thomas would be an obvious replacement, but he limped out of Wales's Under-21 clash with the Poles last night with a hamstring injury.

Wales Under-21 boss Jimmy Shoulder revealed the seriousness of the injury to Thomas, saying: "It looks a bad one, he could be out for several weeks with it, which is a great shame because he's done so well to get into Blackburn's first team squad this season as well as playing extremely well for us."

It is thought the full extent of the injury will be assessed on Thomas' return to England from Warsaw on Thursday.

Blake and Thomas's injury woe could open a door for Egil Ostenstad to partner Matt Jansen at Fulham.

However, there is even a remote possibility that Craig Hignett could feature in the game after missing the first three months of the season with an Achilles problem.

Much depends on whether Hignett gets a run-out for the reserve side against Manchester City on Thursday, but that game is in doubt following the heavy rain of the last few days.

And boss Graeme Souness is unlikely to want to rush Hignett back and risk harming his recovery.

However, Hignett said: "I've been joining in full training for quite a while now and I've stopped having treatment so I'm officially off the injured list.

"I don't know whether I'll get a full game tomorrow or only a part of it.

"But I'm now ready for a game and I'm making myself available for the weekend if I'm needed.

"it's up to the manager, though, if he wants to involve me."

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