Title-chasing Hull City boosted by positive news on injured captain Richie Smallwood

Top of League One having won five on the bounce, things have been going pretty well for Hull City in recent weeks.

Hull City captain Richie Smallwood. Pictures: Getty Images

And the Tigers have been handed another boost following the confirmation that influential captain Richie Smallwood will be fit to play again before the end of the season.

The 30-year-old midfielder suffered a knee injury during City's 1-0 loss at Burton Albion on February 6, and it was initially feared that he may not play again in 2020/21.

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Head coach Grant McCann subsequently revealed that the damage to his skipper's medial ligament was not as severe as originally thought and said that he wasn't going to write Smallwood off for the rest of the campaign.

Hull City head coach Grant McCann.

And the Northern Irishman this week received the news that he had been hoping for from his medical team, with Smallwood expected to be back in action again within a month.

"We've had good news on Richie Smallwood this week," McCann said.

"He could be back in three or four weeks, which is really pleasing."

That means that, as a best case scenario, the former Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers midfielder may be able to play some part against Plymouth Argyle on April 10.

If it does take him the full four weeks to get himself back to something resembling full fitness, then Smallwood might have to wait until City's home clash with Fleetwood on April 17.

At the very least, the experienced campaigner should be available for all of Hull's final four league fixtures of the campaign, which include showdowns with promotion rivals Sunderland and Lincoln.

Smallwood's presence back on the field could well prove crucial during what looks set to be an extremely tight end-of-season run-in.

And, such is his influence on what is a fairly young Tigers squad, McCann has opted to keep his captain close throughout his spell on the sidelines.

"He's been in and around us anyway," added the City chief.

"we've kept him very close to every game. He's either in the changing room or he travels with us,"

"He's been really close to me and the group ever since he picked up the injury and I think it was important to keep him in and around the squad."

McCann also provided an update on the rest of his injured players ahead of Saturday's trip to Shrewsbury Town.

"Sean McLoughlin and Brandon Fleming have been making progress, and Max Clark as well," he added.

"Hopefully he [Clark] will be back out on the grass late next week. He's coming along well."