UPDATED: David Stockdale praises Ipswich Town fans after returning to Fulham

DAVID Stockdale has paid a glowing tribute to Ipswich Town after cutting short his season-long loan with the Blues and returning to Premier League parent club Fulham.

The 25-year-old has today rejoined the Craven Cottage club after Fulham number one Mark Schwarzer suffered a neck injury which could keep him out for up to two months.

And after the news was revealed, Stockdale tweeted: “Sad to be leaving such a great club with great people and some of the best fans in the country! But happy to be back at Fulham come on boys!”

While tonight’s Europa League clash with Odense BK might come too soon for Stockdale, he is set to be included in Fulham’s home match against Bolton on Saturday.

Martin Jol’s men then have Manchester United and Chelsea followed by a match at Norwich City on New Year’s Eve.

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39-year-old Schwarzer required four minutes of treatment during Fulham’s 2-0 defeat at Swansea on Saturday. But the nature of the injury was still worse than initially feared, prompting the call-back.

Though always a threat under the agreed 24-hour recall, the news will come as a body blow for Blues boss Paul Jewell who is looking to build on Saturday’s stunning 5-3 televised win over Barnsley.

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With Richard Wright struggling with a shoulder injury, Arran Lee-Barrett is set to return in goal for this weekend’s match against Derby County at Portman Road, with American rookie Cody Cropper on the bench.

Stockdale could still return to Portman Road in the New Year after initial thoughts that he would be prohibited under the terms of his initial season-long loan proved wrong.

Jewell, who will surely look for a new keeper in January, could try and sign Stockdale on a half-season loan, similar to the one offered to Keith Andrews, or even on a three-month deal when the emergency loan window opens in February.

Stockdale has made 18 Championship appearances for Ipswich this season and became a firm favourite among fans – despite the club’s alarming defensive record.

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