Hull record signing Jimmy Bullard has been ruled out for the rest of the season following knee surgery. The 30-year-old midfielder joined the Tigers in a £5 million move from Premier League rivals Fulham last month but has played just 37 minutes of football for his new club.
Bullard jarred his knee on his debut against West Ham on 28 January and underwent surgery in the United States. It is not the first time Bullard has been forced out with a knee problem. He spent 16 months on the sidelines after sustaining a knee injury playing for Fulham in September 2006.
"Jimmy Bullard underwent a procedure last (Thursday) night in America to repair a torn cartilage," said a Hull statement. "Whilst performing the arthroscopy, the surgeon noticed fresh damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.
"In the best interests of both the player and Hull City Football Club it was decided to undertake a reconstruction of the damaged ligament which means that Jimmy will be unavailable for the remainder of this season. "The club wishes Jimmy a speedy recovery and look forward to his return in a Tigers' shirt as soon as possible."
Bullard played a key role in Fulham's climb away from the relegation zone last term and Hull were looking to him as an equally significant figure in what is their first season in top-flight football.
Hull, after an impressive start to the campaign, have suffered a dip in form of late and are now just six points above the relegation zone after winning just one of their last 16 games.