Bullard facing four months out

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The Independent Online

Jimmy Bullard, the Hull midfielder, will learn today whether his season is all but over, following the knee injury which saw him leave Villa Park in tears during his side's 3-0 defeat on Saturday.

The worse case scenario – cruciate ligament damage – would see the player out for four months, though Hull will not know until this afternoon whether it is as bad as they feared. Their own medical team have completed scans on the 31-year-old which have been sent to specialists in London.

Manager Phil Brown continues to take comfort in the fact that Bullard has this time damaged his left knee and not the right, on which he has twice undergone operations, the success of which his career has depended. It is possible that Bullard has simply strained medial ligaments, an injury which would keep him out for no more than four weeks. He would soon be back to help out in what could be a tough season for Brown.

Chairman Adam Pearson said that Bullard was "shattered" by the injury. "We are waiting to hear back from the specialist. We are hoping for some positive news. The ovation he got from both sets of supporters on Saturday shows you what a popular lad he is. "

Bullard has twice been missing from football for nine months, on the second occasion after undergoing major knee surgery by the highly reputed specialist Dr Richard Steadman.

His two goals in just five games since returning to the side in October has demonstrated how vital he is to Brown and helped make him the Premier League's player of the month for November. He landed awkwardly after a challenge in the defeat at Villa.

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