Cavaleiro a doubt for Saints game and Kongolo suffers another setback

Fulham are expected to be without three players for the Boxing Day visit of Southampton – with Ivan Cavaleiro a doubt.

The forward was on the teamsheet before the 1-1 draw with Newcastle last week, but pulled up in the warm-up, and is only “doing light work” in training over the last couple of days, according to Scott Parker.

“It may be a bit too early for him,” boss Parker said. “But we’re going to make a real call tomorrow (Friday) in seeing where he is.

“He’s in a better place than where he was, but whether the weekend comes too quick for him, we’ll have more an insight a bit later.”

The head coach had promised an Under-23 outing for long-term injuries Kenny Tete and Terence Kongolo last week – but neither appeared in the defeat against Leeds.

The good news is right-back Tete’s withdrawal was due to his wife having just given birth that allowed him time away.

“He’s done a lot of work over the last two or three weeks, and he’s in a good place,” Parker explained.

“He would have been in and around it this weekend, but with his wife having given birth that’s now not going to be possible.”

But central defender Kongolo has suffered yet another minor setback and is not expected back in full training for another 10 days.

Loan player Mario Lemina is not allowed to play by the terms agreed with his parent club, so another former Saint, Harrison Reed, is almost certainly likely to take the defensive midfield slot.

Parker himself is going to be absent while self-isolating after a family member tested positive for Coronavirus.

He will have to content himself with a communication system that allows different camera angles of the game on his laptop as well as non-stop dialogue to the dugout where coach Stuart Gray fills the gap against his old club.

“It’s disappointing, and the timing’s bad, but it is what it is,” Parker said.