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Ankle knock forces Inamoto out

Published: Tuesday 17 December 2002, 18.05CET
Fulham FC midfield player Junichi Inamoto faces a month on the sidelines because of damaged ankle ligaments.

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Published: Tuesday 17 December 2002, 18.05CET

Ankle knock forces Inamoto out

Fulham FC midfield player Junichi Inamoto faces a month on the sidelines because of damaged ankle ligaments.

Fulham FC and Japan midfield player Junichi Inamoto will miss the busy Christmas programme after it emerged that he damaged ankle ligaments in a Premiership match on Sunday.

Cameo performance
The 23-year-old was injured in a tackle by Birmingham City FC's Olivier Tébily, just two minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Loftus Road. Inamoto tried to run the injury off and limped around the pitch for a few minutes before hobbling off.

January return
After initially thinking that Inamoto had merely twisted his right ankle, the London club's manager, Jean Tigana, was told today the player has ligament damage and will be sidelined until mid-January. The news represents a significant blow to Inamoto, who has started just six league matches this season.

Sparkling World Cup
Inamoto endured a year of frustration at Arsenal FC last season, but his sparkling World Cup performances for Japan alerted Tigana, who signed him on a 12-month loan deal from J-League club Gamba Osaka.

UEFA Cup exit
He was a second-half substitute in Fulham's UEFA Cup third-round match against Hertha BSC Berlin last week, where a goalless draw saw Fulham go down 2-1 on aggregate.

Last updated: 17/12/02 18.45CET

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