Hull's record signing Jimmy Bullard is poised to make his long-awaited return against former club Fulham on Monday.
Bullard, who has been out for nine months with a serious knee injury, has made encouraging progress in recent weeks and featured in two reserves fixtures.
The 30-year-old has played just 37 minutes of first-team football since his £5million move from Fulham in January. "Whether he starts or not we will have to wait, it is a big decision," said Tigers assistant boss Brian Horton. "But it is great to see him back."
He added: "He is a quality player and will be a massive plus when he does start a game.
"We want him back as quickly as we can but he has been out a long time and we can't rush it.
"We will have to monitor it, it is a long-term picture. We have got to be patient but he can do some tremendous things, he is an outstanding footballer."
Bullard was injured on his Hull debut at West Ham and was forced to undergo major surgery on his knee for a second time in less than two-and-a-half years.
His previous lay-off, whilst at Fulham, lasted 16 months but he returned to play a key role in the Cottagers' escape from relegation in 2008.
That earned him hero status among fans but he eventually left the club because Fulham were not prepared to match Hull's long-term contract offer.