Jack Hobbs makes Hull City return after seven months out injured (updated)
JACK Hobbs took a huge stride back towards the Hull City ranks today as he got his first taste of action in over seven months.
The 24-year-old came through 29 minutes with no problems in a behind-closed-doors friendly fixture at Peterborough this afternoon.
Hobbs overcame a sickness bug that kept him out of training yesterday to come on as a second-half substitute in a 1-1 draw.
Hobbs had been sidelined since March 31 when he suffered cruciate ligament damage in his right knee during the Tigers' 2-0 home defeat to Coventry City.
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Surgery soon ruled the centre-back out for up to nine months, but he is set to give City boss Steve Bruce a boost by returning to first-team action ahead of schedule in the coming weeks.
The run-out at Peterborough this afternoon comes after spending the last two weeks in full contact training with his City team-mates.
And although a Championship comeback will have to wait for another fortnight, a first chance to sharpen match-fitness will have been relished by Hobbs.
City reserves' fixture at home to Gateshead next Wednesday could offer another opportunity and, providing complications can be avoided, the defender may be back in contention either for City's home game with Crystal Palace in a fortnight or at Nottingham Forest on December 1.
Bruce was at the match in Peterborough today to see Hobbs in action for the firs time since his summer appointment and will be thrilled to see another talented option bolstering his defensive ranks.
Hobbs played every minute of the 2011-12 Championship season until injury struck in March and his partnership with James Chester arguably stood as City's greatest strength of last term.
Although Bruce has strengthened in Hobbs' absence by recruiting defenders Abdoulaye Faye and son Alex, as well as bringing Paul McShane in from the cold, the return of the Tigers' one-time captain will be celebrated with 10 league games to negotiate in the next six weeks.
Eldin Jakupovic, who is hoping to convince Bruce he deserves a Championship debut, also turned out this afternoon.
The Bosnian-born Swiss international has so far been limited to a handful of unused substitute appearances since he arrived on a free transfer this summer.
A lack of form from regular number one Ben Amos has offered Jakupovic an opening ahead of this weekend's trip to Birmingham City and Bruce has admitted a change is under consideration this week.
Amos, who is expected to line up for England under-21s against Northern Ireland at Blackpool tonight, finds his position under question after another mistake contributed to City's 2-1 loss at Cardiff this weekend.
The 22-year-old has so far played every minute of the Tigers' season.
However, Jakupovic had few saves to make in today's game and could do nothing about the home team's goal.
Seyi Olofinjana and veteran defender Andy Dawson also played today.