Dutchman only arrived at Craven Cottage in June from Roma.
Fulham head coach Martin Jol says that injured goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg may have to go under the knife to cure the shoulder injury that has kept the Dutchman out of action since the opening day of the new season, according to reports on SkySports.com.
The 31-year-old only arrived at Craven Cottage from Serie A giants AS Roma in June on a four-year deal, with Stekelenburg joining the west Londoners for an undisclosed fee to replace veteran Australia international Mark Schwarzer, who left the club to act as backup to Petr Cech at city rivals Chelsea.
However, the experienced Netherlands international damaged his shoulder in the Cottagers’ opening-day Premier League win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last month, and the shot stopper has still to regain full fitness in the mean time.
Jol did confirm, though, that his compatriot had actually recovered from the initial injury and had now returned to training with the rest of he first-team squad.
But the Dutchman also said that if Stekelenburg had still to make a full recovery by the time of the next international break in two weeks’ time, then unfortunately the keeper would be forced to undergo an operation to cure the persistent problem.
“He will be out for the next two weeks and then we will make an assessment,” Jol said. “He’s got a few injections in his shoulder – it’s quite sensitive and if it’s not right in two weeks time he probably needs an operation.
“But the strange thing is that he trains with us. It’s only a matter of over stretching all the time and then he feels a lot of pain. He had an operation on his other shoulder so we have to be very careful.”