HULL CITY manager Steve Bruce last night admitted Mohamed Diame’s pre-season could yet be badly affected by the long-standing knee problem that requires surgery.
The Senegal international’s season is over after the midfielder had to admit defeat in his attempts to recover from an injury first sustained at the start of December.
Diame, who made two brief substitute appearances last month, has been in France recently seeing a specialist and the plan is for him to go under the knife on Tuesday.
Bruce said: “The fracture of his kneecap has healed, we have just had to give that time. But there is a loose body in there and a tendon that is inflamed.
“Unless we go in there and have a look, wash it out and clean it up, we are just going to go along this road when he’s okay some days and then there’s something wrong.
“It is going to be another two or three months now.
“He is having a knee operation so we will not know the full extent until we get in there. Let’s hope we can solve the problem.”
With next season due to begin on August 8, regardless of which division Hull are in, Diame is already facing a race against time to be fit to join in when the players return to training in either late June or early July.
Asked about the midfielder’s chances of being fit by then, Bruce replied: “This will make it difficult for him to play a full part in pre-season and the same goes for (Robert) Snodgrass, too.
“We have got an ongoing problem with him where it is unclear if he will make pre-season.”
Former Leeds United winger Snodgrass fractured his kneecap on the opening day of the campaign at QPR. It was only his second start in the Tigers shirt, the first having come nine days earlier in the Europa League qualifying round second leg victory over Slovakian side, FK AS Trencin.
The Scottish international was a £7m summer capture from newly-relegated Norwich City.
His loss at such an early stage was a big blow and one that prompted Bruce to sell Shane Long to Southampton for £12m and use the proceeds to bolster his squad in terms of cover.
On whether the doubts over whether Snodgrass will be fit for pre-season are down to a fresh setback, Bruce said: “No, it is just that the pair of them are pretty rare injuries.
“They are not straightforward. He has still got a bit to do.”
Bruce rates Jake Livermore as “50/50” to be fit to face Burnley today, though David Meyler may come in any way after impressing against Arsenal.