Hull City midfielder Jimmy Bullard is to be out of action until late January after damaging his knee in the weekend’s defeat to Aston Villa.
The 31 year old has been blighted with injuries over the past 18 months, though the latest setback is is not to the same knee that has previously undergone reconstructive surgery.
He underwent a scan on Monday night and the damage is not as bad as first feared.
“I am sitting here like a man waiting in the emergency room for his wife to give birth,” said Hull boss Phil Brown.
“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.”
Bullard was the club’s record signing when he joined from Fulham for £5 million earlier this year, but missed eight months through injury before returning for the last five games.