STEVE BRUCE has revealed that Hull City midfielder Robbie Brady could make an earlier than expected comeback by featuring in the Premier League game at Everton on October 19.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder, outstanding this season, had been expected to be sidelined for a month after it was confirmed he would need hernia surgery.
Brady, the Tigers’ top scorer so far with four goals, underwent a two-hour operation on Wednesday, but was at the training ground yesterday and may only miss tomorrow’s home game with Aston Villa, with a two-week international break following.
Bruce said: “The modern surgery now is quite unbelievable. It was always a month or six weeks going back (in my day), but Everton is a realistic possibility.
“(The injury) can be a painful one, but he was walking around the training ground on Thursday morning. He was in and out of hospital very quickly.
“My physio tells me that the quickest he’s known someone come back is 10 days and some can take six weeks. We just hope he heals quickly.”
Bruce is facing a tough decision on who will replace Brady, with George Boyd and Stephen Quinn battling it out to replace the former Manchester United player.
The Tigers chief added: “Both of them helped me get promoted and both of them in their own way have helped take the club to where it is.
“It’s a really difficult decision. I just hope I make the right one.”
One man hoping to claim his own Premier League lifeline, albeit through a productive loan spell at Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, is striker Matty Fryatt and Bruce is not ruling out the former Leicester frontman from earning his chance in the top flight with the Tigers.
Fryatt, fit again after a serious Achilles injury, scored his first competitive goal since April 2012 in Wednesday’s 1-1 midweek draw at Brighton and hopes to cast aside his demons following an 18-month injury hell.
Bruce said: “Thankfully, he’s got a goal and that should do him the world of good. It’s a month to begin with (at Hillsborough) but we’ll review it and see what’s next. There’s no reason why he couldn’t play his way back in here.
“He can only benefit from this and once he gets match fitness, he’ll be fine.”
Bruce was not too surprised Tigers’ midfield play-maker Tom Huddlestone was overlooked by England for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers with Montenegro and Poland, but added: “If there’s a better midfield player in the country at the moment, then he must be playing really well.
“Tom’s just got to keep playing and maybe that door will open.”