Hull City boss Steve Bruce admits loss of Sone Aluko is a 'huge blow'
HULL City boss Steve Bruce admits the loss of star striker Sone Aluko for up to eight weeks has inflicted a "huge blow" to their Championship promotion hopes.
Aluko was diagnosed as having a small tear in his Achilles when visiting a specialist in London yesterday and Bruce confirmed the news in the wake of City's 2-1 extra-time victory over Leyton Orient in the FA Cup last night.
As the Tigers' top goalscorer and most potent attacking threat this season, Aluko's set-back has left Bruce reeling.
"It's a huge blow for us," admitted the City boss. "We had him in London with us and he was still troubled by it, so we went to see a specialist.
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"Unfortunately it's been diagnosed as a slight small tear in his Achilles. That's certainly not great. We're looking at between six and eight weeks sadly."
Aluko has been troubled by the nagging injury since late November.
A four-game absence saw him return for the festive campaign but he again felt the problem during the Tigers' 3-1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
The Nigerian international will now be sidelined until March at the earliest and the nature of his injury will inevitably spark fears of a longer lay-off similar to that of Matty Fryatt.
Fryatt was ruled out for the season with an Achilles tear in October, two months after initially suffering the injury, but Bruce is hopeful Aluko's spell on the sidelines will not be as lengthy.
"It's not quite in Matty Fryatt territory but when it's an Achilles injury there's sometimes nothing worse," Bruce added.
"We've had a couple of them now. Liam Rosenior over the start of pre-season and then, of course, Matty Fryatt. We'll just have to cope with it to the best of our ability but it's a huge loss."