Brady set for Everton return
Hull manager Steve Bruce is expecting top-scorer Robbie Brady to make a quicker-than-expected return to action against Everton this weekend.
Brady was playing through the pain barrier in the early part of the season, scoring four times in the process, but could no longer go on and was sent for a hernia operation after netting the winner against West Ham on 1-0 on September 28.
At the time there were fears he could be out for over a month but he is back in full training already and pushing for a place at Goodison Park on Saturday.
"Robbie has trained this week which just goes to show what the medical people can do. It's just over two weeks since the operation," said Bruce.
"We'll see for a reaction but as long as there isn't one he'll come straight back in the squad. It's quite remarkable what they can do to fix what is labelled as a hernia.
"To be playing in two and a half weeks shows what they can do.
"He's pain free and running around like a two-year-old so let's hope he stays like that."
Brady's team-mate Stephen Quinn might be forgiven for taking news of the return to fitness with mixed feelings given he was the man to step up from the bench and replace him against Aston Villa.
But he considers Brady - who is also a colleague with the Republic of Ireland - a close friend and insists any battle for the shirt is both friendly and productive for the side.
"It's great for the team to have this competition," said Quinn.
"Robbie coming back is great news for the team. I'm delighted for him because Robbie is such a good player and he got off to a great start in the Premier League.
"It's always been that way, even last season. I pulled my hamstring and found it hard to get back because competition was really high. Now we have top players like (Tom) Huddlestone and (Jake) Livermore and that's healthy too.
"There's a buzz around the place and there's a really good camaraderie around the place."
Having been buoyed by Brady's recovery, Bruce is also hoping to have good news on the contract front soon.
Sone Aluko, who has impressed as the link man between midfield and attack this season, has been in talks for a number of weeks over a new deal.
His current one expires at the end of the campaign and Bruce has spoken in the past about the need to tie him down before his on-field performances attract too much attention.
"I'm going in to have a word with my bosses to see if there's any development," said the Tigers manager.
"Maybe we'll know a little bit in the next few days.
"We're trying our utmost to get it over the line so let's hope this time next week everything will be hunky dory.
"At the moment we're still boxing a bit."
Bruce is not expecting any of his international players to have picked up injuries over the recent break but, as ever, will have little time to work with the likes of Egytian pair Ahmed Elmohamady and Gedo, and Honduras defender Maynor Figueroa after they return to the club following long-haul flights.
Figueroa will at least be buoyed by scoring in the 2-2 draw in Jamaica which ensured his country will take part in the World Cup, while Elmohamady and Gedo were part of the Egypt squad thrashed 6-1 in their play-off first leg in Ghana.