Phil Brown admits that he is toying with the idea of starting Jimmy Bullard against Fulham at the weekend.
The midfielder made a goalscoring return for the reserves last week after being sidelined since January with a serious knee injury.
The £5million man suffered the injury on his Hull City debut against former club West Ham and is desperate to finally show Tigers fans what he can do.
The 30-year-old was set to play in a behind closed doors
friendly against York on Tuesday and Brown revealed that his performance against the Minstermen would determine how big a part he would play at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
"Whether or not Jimmy will be able to start against Fulham will depend entirely on how he does against York and how he trains for the rest of the week," Brown told the Hull Daily Mail.
"His attitude has been absolutely first class but we'll only play Jimmy at the right time.
"It was 45 minutes under his belt last week, albeit reserves, and hopefully there will be another 60, 65 or 70 minutes against York.
"If he comes through unscathed again, fingers crossed he could play some part in the Fulham game, but I'll be keeping my cards close to my chest with regards to how much."
Brown also added that the win over Wigan last time out meant he was not pressurised into bringing Bullard back too soon.
"It is tempting of course it is, but the beauty of the win against Wigan buys him and me more time," he added.
"The temptation of a manager under pressure with four points from seven games is different to that of a manager with seven points after eight games.
"Win against Fulham and you're in double figures and all of a sudden the pressures of the Premier League are alleviated to a certain extent.
"The same goes for the risks you might take with any player returning from injury."
The Tigers boss also confirmed that injury-plagued Anthony Gardner could also feature in the friendly against York, although the game with Fulham may have come too soon for the defender.
"We hope to see Anthony playing a part, we're looking at 45 minutes or maybe 60," he stated.
"He's had a pleasing week of training but it's a case of building up his strength and confidence every day.
"That doesn't come quickly but hopefully once he gets a game under his belt that will come."