Fulham defender Zat Knight insists there is nothing ‘sinister’ behind the broken jaw that will keep him out for two months.
Cottagers boss Chris Coleman admitted he initially questioned Knight’s explanation that he was injured in a play-fight with his brother.
‘I told Zat that to break a jaw takes more than horseplay, but I’ve no reason to believe anything else,’ he said.
Knight, 26, added: ‘It was an accident – nothing more sinister than that.’
However, Knight, who had been made captain in the absence of Luis Boa Morte, issued an apology to his team-mates.
‘I’m absolutely gutted because I was only given the armband last week,’ he said.
We’re down to the bare bones
Fulham boss Chris Coleman
‘I take my responsibility as skipper very seriously. Obviously, I feel I have let down the team at a vital point of the season.’
Coleman’s side have been beset by injuries in recent weeks and he stated: ‘It’s a shame for us and for Zat because he’s done well this year, showing a lot of maturity and consistency.
‘We need a bit of luck with injuries but aren’t getting any. Our bench is very inexperienced. We’re down to the bare bones.’