Brown optimistic Bullard can still help Hull

Phil Brown is optimistic Jimmy Bullard will play a key role in Hull's Barclays Premier League survival fight after the midfielder was ruled out until the new year yesterday.

The 31-year-old will be out for six to eight weeks after suffering a knee injury in Saturday's defeat at Aston Villa.

Bullard, the Premier League's player of the month for November, left the pitch in tears after landing awkwardly following a challenge in the 3-0 loss.

The injury came in just his fifth appearance since returning from an eight-month lay off following surgery on his other knee.

Bullard and Hull feared the worst but, after a scan last night, manager Brown was relieved the injury was not as serious as first thought.

"Hopefully we'll have him for three to four months of the season still," Brown told Sky Sports News.

"It's been an horrendous day for me but I'm now very hopeful Jimmy will be back on the field of play before the transfer window closes.

"That's what I and Jimmy will be looking at."

Bullard marked his full Hull debut with a starring role in the 2-1 win over Stoke.

The £5million signing from Fulham then scored in draws with West Ham and Manchester City, the latter being met with a choreographed celebration mimicking Brown's infamous half-time team talk on the pitch at Eastlands last season.

"He's a tremendous character, the way he is he just wants the ball and to please people," Brown added.

"He's that kind of character, there are not so many about."