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Loew, Bierhoff congratulate Arsenal

English FA Cup May 19, 2014
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May 14, 2014

Chester in race for FA Cup final fitness

Hull face an anxious wait to discover if centre-back James Chester will be fit for Saturday's FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Chester made his Premier League debut this season despite coming through the ranks at Manchester United.
James Chester is back in light training but was unable to join his teammates for intensive work.

Report card: Hull City

The former Manchester United defender suffered a hamstring injury in the defeat to Aston Villa on May 3 and missed City's final two games.

Chester has returned to training but manager Steve Bruce is unsure if he will recover in time to play in Hull's first major cup final.

"The only real doubt is James Chester," Bruce said in a news conference. "He was back on the training ground [on Tuesday] doing some light work but didn't join in with the main group."

Bruce's son Alex is the probable deputy for Chester, and the Tigers manager admits he faces a tough decision whether to pick him.

"That's always the difficult situation that I find myself in," he added. "If I'm in that situation [where Alex plays], I'll be as proud as anyone else.

"It's certainly not easy for him but over the two years he's been here, he's never let anyone down, so that could be the case."

Bruce received a fitness boost when first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor made a swifter-than-expected recovery after breaking three ribs and damaging a kidney against West Ham in March, and returned to face Everton on Sunday.

Defender Paul McShane and forward Sone Aluko have also returned to contention and Bruce added: "Everybody else is okay. McShane has been out 16, 17 weeks, McGregor, six or seven weeks. Aluko's been on and off for three or four months now.

"The hardest job I've got is picking the 11, especially when it's such a big day. You have to have everyone 100 percent fit."

Bruce will be without strikers Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, who are both cup-tied, and has promised Matty Fryatt a start after he scored as a substitute in the 5-3 semifinal win over Sheffield United.

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