‘Huge step forward’ for Cairney in battle to overcome knee injury

There’s light at the end of the tunnel for Tom Cairney with his damaged knee.

For the first time since December, the Fulham captain has been involved in training this week – albeit a softly, softly version of the real thing.

Cairney last appeared in a match against Newcastle on December 19, but a niggling knee problem picked up in a pre-season friendly gave way to the inevitable.

However, the 30-year-old has offered hope he may yet play some part in the rest of the campaign.

“He went for a laser treatment which we thought might help speed up the process, and he’s come through that pretty well,” said Scott Parker.

“He’s been training with us this week, albeit modified training, but nowhere near yet being stretched to a real intensity.

“But it’s a huge step forward for him but he’s been modified, and next week we’ll step it up again.

“It’s little steps for Tom and we’ll see how he comes out of them.

“At the moment that’s been good so long may it continue.”

Compared to some Premier League clubs, Fulham have been relatively injury free.

The head coach believes that’s down to a programme that knows when to put the hammer down and when to ease off.

Parker explained: “I’m touching wood, but we’ve done a fantastic job in terms of keeping the balance of fitness and also not pushing too hard in those moments.

“It’s a constant thing for me and all my staff is trying to balance and where we need to put work in, where we need to take work off, how we do that and realise that really is key.”