Injured Hull City trio 'wrapped up in cotton wool' in bid to face Cardiff
HULL City will hand late fitness checks to Liam Rosenior, Ahmed Elmohamady and Alex Bruce ahead of facing promotion rivals Cardiff City tomorrow.
The defensive trio have all been nursing injuries in the wake of Tuesday's 2-1 win over Wolves and failed to take part in first-team training yesterday.
All three will be in City's travelling party to South Wales this afternoon, but a decision over their availability may not come until tomorrow morning.
Rosenior, who has been carrying a groin strain, looks the most likely to feature, but Elmohamady (thigh) and Bruce (knee) are also hopeful of retaining their place.
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"They're in cotton wool so we'll just have to see how they are," manager Steve Bruce explained.
"They're all doubts because all three went in to Tuesday's game with doubts.
"Fair play to the three of them for wanting to stay in the side.
"They're all touch and go as we stand but they'll travel down to Cardiff and we'll assess it again."
The three injury doubts have a significant bearing on Bruce's plans as third place hosts fourth in the Championship tomorrow.
If Elmohamady and Rosenior are ruled out, City could be forced to abandon the 3-5-2 shape that has inspired three consecutive wins.
Bruce will hope at least one of his wing-backs is available but can call upon new arrival Robbie Brady if needed on the left flank.
Abdoulaye Faye could comfortably deputise in a three-man defence should son Alex be ruled out, but Bruce says none of the injury doubts will readily give up their places.
"We had a few players who were flat to the boards on Tuesday night," he added.
"Rosenior, Elmohamady and Alex all did well just to play.
"That proves to me that they all want to play because they don't want to come out of the team.
"If they do, they'll not know when they'll get back. That goes for everyone in the squad.
"Abdoulaye Faye, for example, had a wonderful start here but got injured and lost his place to Paul McShane."
If Bruce is troubled by a trio of concerns as they travel to Cardiff tomorrow, the imminent returns of Jack Hobbs and Tom Cairney will soon provide a lift.
Hobbs has spent the last 10 days in full training after battling back from cruciate ligament surgery in March and has been pencilled in for a comeback fixture in the next fortnight. City reserves' home game with Gateshead on November 21 is one fixture being considered.
Cairney, whose season has so far been ruined by a knee injury, has also stepped up his training and should be back by the start of December.
CITY physio Liam McGarry will leave the Tigers today after seven years at the club. He will team up with Championship rivals Blackburn from next week, leaving head of medical staff Rob Price to oversee the City squad.