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Dec 7, 2009

Relief as Bullard ruled out for weeks, not months

Hull City boss Phil Brown has spoken of his relief after a scan on Jimmy Bullard's injured knee revealed he would be out for six to eight weeks.

• Collins: Who will fill Bullard's boots?

The Tigers had feared the worst after Bullard, who had spent nine months on the treatment table after playing just 37 minutes for the club, was injured in a collision with Aston Villa's James Milner at the weekend.

Bullard had been an inspritation to the East Yorkshire outfit since returning to fitness, and was named the Premier League Player of the Month for November.

Fears were immediately raised that Bullard could have suffered another serious problem having twice been sidelined for long periods due to injury, but Hull had stated it was not the same knee as that which sustained cruciate ligament damage last season.

It means the creative midfielder is likely to miss home games against Blackburn, Manchester United and Chelsea, plus away days at Arsenal, Bolton and possibly Tottenham but should be back for the return at Old Trafford at the end of January.

In some respects the injury has come at a better time for Hull, considering they would not be expected to get anything from four of the six games he is likely to miss.

"I am sitting here like a man waiting in the emergency room for his wife to give birth,'' 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. Hopefully we'll have him for three to four months of the season still.

"On the negative front we are losing a very good player for six weeks but on the other side it could have been a lot longer.

"He's a tremendous character, the way he is he just wants the ball and to please people. He's that kind of character, there are not so many about.''

Bullard marked his full Hull debut with a starring role in the 2-1 win over Stoke. The £5 million signing from Fulham then scored in draws with West Ham and Manchester City, the latter being met with a choreographed celebration mimicking Brown's famous half-time team talk on the pitch at Eastlands last season.

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