Dunn blow for Birmingham

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The Independent Football

He expects, too, that the player will have to go through a series of routines and exercises for the rest of his career in an effort to combat the back, hamstring and calf setbacks which have dogged his progress at St Andrew's.

Dunn had been slowly eased back into action by Bruce after his lengthy lay-off following back surgery to help cure a problem which also affected his hamstrings last season. But the former England Under-21 captain limped off after only 35 minutes on Wednesday.

"Dunny will be out for at least three weeks," Bruce said yesterday. "But we will not know the severity of things until we get the results of the scan back. It's your biggest nightmare. It is just horrible. But you have to deal with it. He has dealt with it before. He started off so well the other night. It is a shame for him and the team, because when David Dunn is around the team we always perform better. He's that sort of character.

"We've had a chat, and he is going to have to be different to everyone else through his career and work harder and do things other players don't have to do, more with his body - exercises, warm-ups - to maintain the strength in his muscles. He previously went to yoga and swimming and things like that. He has got to try anything."

To add to Bruce's problems in midfield, Neil Kilkenny will also be out for "a few weeks" with a twisted ankle sustained against Liverpool and Damien Johnson yesterday lost his appeal against his sending-off at Anfield and will have to serve a three-match ban.