Robert Koren fit, but Hull City fear worst as Tom Cairney sent to specialist
TOM Cairney will visit a specialist today to diagnose the full extent of a worrying knee injury sustained in Hull City's League Cup exit at Doncaster Rovers.
The 21-year-old was the victim of an x-rated challenge from Doncaster defender James Husband on Tuesday and could have played his final game of 2012 if City's early fears are confirmed.
Husband's dangerous tackle drew angry criticism from Steve Bruce in the aftermath of the Keepmoat Stadium clash, and the City boss remains concerned for Cairney's long-term availability.
"There's no diagnosis on Tom just yet, he's away to see a specialist and we'll know a bit more then," he said.
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"One scenario is that he's done his medial ligaments but we're just hoping that it's not his cruciate ligament.
"It still looks a nasty injury. I said at the time it looked an awful challenge and my thoughts haven't changed.
"It's one that the referee just didn't see.
"Certainly on the sidelines we went crazy at the time and it's a bad challenge. There were two feet off the floor.
"It wasn't a tackle you would have got away with in the Premier League and it's not one you should get away with at any level.
"It was reckless and it was one that will injure people, like it has done with Tom."
Cairney's injury leaves Bruce with a paper-thin midfield for tomorrow's clash with Bolton Wanderers at the KC Stadium.
With Paul McKenna serving the first of a three-game ban for his red card at Doncaster, Seyi Olofinjana appears to be in pole position to feature alongside Corry Evans and a fit-again Robert Koren.
Defender Paul McShane will also be available after recovering from his concussion this week, but Matty Fryatt's Achilles problem continues to give City's medical team a headache.
"Nothing's really changed, we've just got to be patient with it," added Bruce on Fryatt's injury.
"He went to see the specialist 10 days ago and he's got a programme to stick to.
"Hopefully in a couple of weeks he'll be back in contention."