Hull City at Watford: Sone Aluko to hand Tigers a timely boost after return to training
SONE Aluko is set to reclaim his place in the Hull City attack at Watford tomorrow after returning to full training ahead of the trip to Hertfordshire.
The Tigers' top goalscorer missed last weekend's 2-1 victory at Nottingham Forest with a calf strain, but rejoined team-mates yesterday to promote his claims for an instant recall.
Providing there is no reaction today when City train before making the long journey south, Aluko appears likely to take Aaron Mclean's place in an otherwise unchanged side at Vicarage Road.
"Sone trained with us again and hopefully, if there's no reaction, he'll train with us again before we travel," manager Steve Bruce said.
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"Touch wood, we hope he'll be okay for Watford. It's always a concern when it's a muscular problem. When it's kicks or bangs or bruises, it's normally okay.
"But when it's muscular, like Sone's injury has been, you've got to err on the side of caution.
"The last thing you want, especially at this stage of the season, is for someone to play when they're not 100 per cent, and all of a sudden they're out for a couple of months.
"You don't want to take those risks but hopefully where Sone is concerned, he'll be fine."
Although their returns would have been unlikely in a side high on confidence after victory at the City Ground, Jack Hobbs and Tom Cairney will again miss out tomorrow following the postponement of the reserves' trip to Gateshead on Wednesday night.
Both had been expected to feature on Tyneside but a lack of match sharpness means neither player will be pushed into an unnecessary comeback at Watford.
Bruce explained: "It was disappointing to see the game called off. Just when you need the weather to be on your side, it's been bad all week.
"They could have done with another game and we'll look at getting a behind-closed-doors game organised for them. We're in a position now where we don't have to risk them.
"There's a lot of games coming up over Christmas and the more they train, the better they'll become. It's no good for anyone to throw them in when they're not ready, so we'll not push it when we don't have to."
City's search for a third consecutive away win will be aided by the services of David Meyer, despite speculation he would return to Sunderland this week.
A recall clause became active yesterday following 28 days at the KC Stadium, but the Black Cats have so far shown no intention of terminating Meyler's stay in East Yorkshire.
However, in a week that also saw Robbie Brady extend his loan from Manchester United, Bruce admits he is vulnerable to losing his loan stars ahead of the January window.
"With Meyler, Brady and David Stockdale, you're always looking over your shoulder with those concerns," he added.
"Thankfully, at the moment, it's okay and we'll hope they can all stick around."