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The Arizonan

Fulham defender Paintsil desperate to get over injury

last updated Thursday 15th April 2010, 1:35 PM
Fulham defender John Paintsil
Fulham defender
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Fulham defender John Paintsil is desperate to put his injury heartbreak behind him by helping Fulham secure a place in the Europa League final.

The full back has been out of action since picking up a serious knee injury in the Cottagers' west London derby defeat against Chelsea in December.

The injury ruled Paintsil out of the African Nations Cup and the majority of Fulham's march through Europe which has seen them dispose of the likes of Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk to make the semi finals, where they will meet Hamburg next week.

Paintsil had to undergo an operation to cure the problem with his posterior cruciate ligament in January before returning to training three weeks ago.

Since then the defender has played three reserve games and he is now hoping to play some part in Fulham's bid to win their first major European competition.

"To play a full 90 minutes against Aston Villa's reserves on Monday was fantastic and I'm looking to be involved with the first team again very soon," the 28-year-old told Fulham's website.

"The injury happened on the last day before leaving to join my colleagues in the African Cup of Nations so I missed out on the African Cup of Nations and also all the Europa League games and I nearly lost the World Cup.

"We all started the season together but my injury pushed me away from competing in the Europa League competition.

"The boys are doing so well and I'm really pleased with their performances but on the other hand I'm not happy that I'm not involved."

Should Paintsil feature in Fulham's Barclays Premier League clash against Wolves on Saturday he could play some part in next week's semi-final first-leg in Hamburg.

The defender has warned it may take time for him to re-discover the form which led him to become Roy Hodgson's first-choice right-back though.

"I feel very happy with the progress of my knee and much more confident and comfortable," said Paintsil, who signed from West Ham in 2008.

"I'm someone who always gives my best and tries my heart out and I went in for a challenge and lost out.

"It's been really frustrating so now that I'm fit to play again I have to work so hard so that I can be the same player I was before."

Source Paul Hirst at PASport
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