Bullard set to return against Fulham

Hull's record signing Jimmy Bullard is poised to make his long-awaited return against former club Fulham on Monday.

Bullard, who has been out for nine months with a serious knee injury, has made encouraging progress in recent weeks and featured in two reserves fixtures.

The 30-year-old has played just 37 minutes of first-team football since his £5million move from Fulham in January.

"Whether he starts or not we will have to wait, it is a big decision," said Tigers assistant boss Brian Horton.

"But it is great to see him back.

"He is a quality player and will be a massive plus when he does start a game.

"We want him back as quickly as we can but he has been out a long time and we can't rush it.

"We will have to monitor it, it is a long-term picture. We have got to be patient but he can do some tremendous things, he is an outstanding footballer."

Bullard was injured on his Hull debut at West Ham and was forced to undergo major surgery on his knee for a second time in less than two-and-a-half years.

His previous lay-off, whilst at Fulham, lasted 16 months but he returned to play a key role in the Cottagers' escape from relegation in 2008.

That earned him hero status among fans but he eventually left the club because Fulham were not prepared to match Hull's long-term contract offer.

"I'm sure he will get a good reception," added Horton.

"I can't see any reason why he shouldn't - if he is part of the squad.

"He's a likeable character and he just loves being out there.

"It is always nice to play against your old teams, no matter who you are."

Horton admits, however, that there were some difficult moments during Bullard's rehabilitation.

He said: "He was down at times. When you want to be out on the field and you love playing so much, it is frustrating.

"You must have moments when you wonder what is going on in your life.

"You want to be out there and we had to keep him going."

Hull are also hoping defender Anthony Gardner could return on Monday after playing 45 minutes alongside Bullard in a reserves friendly against York this week.

The former Tottenham player has not featured since the win over Bolton on August 22 due to a knee problem.

Hull are 18th in the table but at least travel to Craven Cottage in good spirits after securing a much-needed victory over Wigan in their last outing.

The 2-1 success was only the club's third in the league in 2009 after the Bolton win and one at their next opponents Fulham in March.

Horton said: "It is not just the Jimmy Bullard show.

"We had some good performances against Wigan.

"We have now got a massive month. The Wigan result was fantastic and much-needed and brings us into a run of games which is going to be very important for us."

Hull also play Portsmouth and Burnley before the end of October.

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living