Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Johnson revelling in fitness return

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson admits he may have rushed back from knee surgery as he finally looks forward to an injury-free run in the Fulham side.

Johnson produced arguably his best display since his return from nine months on the sidelines in the Cottagers' 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over Stoke, the 29-year-old setting up Clint Dempsey's opening goal and proving a thorn in the visitors' side throughout.

Asked if the injury might have been caused by coming back too soon, Johnson said: "Maybe, yeah. You just don't know."

The striker made his comeback in October and Fulham rightly eased him back in with a string of substitute appearances before his first start.

But that failed to prevent him picking up a hamstring strain over the festive period and the game against the Potters was his first start since New Year's Day.

Johnson continued: "When your body feels right, there's no point waiting an extra two or three weeks. You might as well just join in. That's how I felt. My knee felt really good.

"I came back from my knee injury probably three, four, five weeks quicker than everyone expected and, yeah, you always get those little niggles, hamstring niggles, thigh, quad, stuff like that."

Johnson broke a goalscoring duck dating back almost 17 months in last weekend's 1-1 draw at Wigan, while 90 minutes against the notoriously-physical Stoke was a good indicator he is now back to full fitness.

"I don't go out on the pitch thinking about my knee at all now," he said."I'm fully fit, I played 90 minutes against Stoke three or four weeks ago when we won 2-0 and I played it again today.

"It's always going to be a hard game against Stoke - they're a big physical team, every player's over 6ft 2in. But you've got to roll your sleeves up and I'd like to think our football shone right through."

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