Hull City's Tom Cairney back in full training after three months out injured
TOM Cairney is set to hand Hull City boss Steve Bruce another injury boost with a return to the first-team fold in the next fortnight.
In a week that has already seen Jack Hobbs step up his comeback after seven months out with cruciate ligament damage, Cairney has followed suit by resuming full training for the first time since suffering his own knee injury in August.
Cairney has been sidelined for the last 10 weeks after he was the victim of a "horror tackle" in City's League Cup exit at Doncaster Rovers, an injury that initially sparked fears he would miss the remainder of 2012.
However, after making sound progress over recent weeks, the 21-year-old has rejoined his team-mates in training ahead of a possible comeback in the reserves next week.
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"Tom's been back in full training this week and it's another lift for us," said manager Steve Bruce.
"He'll need some games in the next week or so and we'll look to put that fitness into him.
"But as soon as he has one or two games under his belt, he'll be another one back in contention."
Cairney is expected to be fit by the start of December where he will join an increasingly packed midfield in Bruce's squad.
As well as new boy David Meyler, the Tigers also have Corry Evans, Stephen Quinn, Robert Koren, Paul McKenna and Seyi Olofinjana who have played in either a two or three-man midfield since Cairney's injury in late August.
Cairney may have his work cut out convincing Bruce of his quality, having been overlooked for City's opening three Championship games when fit, but his return is a timely one ahead of a hectic end to the calendar year.
A more pressing concern for Bruce will be checking on the fitness of several regulars ahead of Saturday's trip to Birmingham City.
Alex Bruce is only rated as "touch and go" with the knee injury that ruled him out of last weekend's loss to Cardiff, while the Tigers boss will also need to check on Paul McShane after he pulled out of the Republic of Ireland's friendly with Greece due to a calf strain.