Jimmy Bullard in line to make Hull return against Fulham
05 October 2009 12:45
The 30-year-old has been cursed by cruciate ligament trouble for three years since dislocating his knee cap at Newcastle United but now he is convinced that he can revive his career thanks to renowned American surgeon Dr Richard Steadman.
Hull's £5 million record signing is hoping to force his way into manager Phil Brown's squad for the televised Fulham game at Craven Cottage in a fortnight and will aim to step up his recovery from injury when Hull reserves take on Bolton this Tuesday.
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"I can't wait to get back and do what I enjoy doing more than anything else," Bullard said. "It's what I have worked for hard for during the last nine months.
"I have been in the gym for what seems like forever but playing football is what I have wanted to do all my life and now I finally can which is great.
"The knee feels absolutely blinding at the moment - as good as it ever has to be honest. The surgeon who performed the operation is one of the best in the world. Steady said my knee was as good as he's ever seen it so that will be fine for me."
As well as the reserves outing at North Ferriby United's ground, a specially arranged friendly against unknown opponents next week will give Bullard, 30, another opportunity to prove his fitness to Brown whose team are currently stuck in the Premier League relegation zone.
Bullard added: "I am hoping to get a couple of games under my belt before the Fulham game. I have got an outing planned for the reserves. It will be just good to go out there and get used to playing competitive football again.
"After that hopefully I will be there or thereabouts. I have never been one for picking out dates or particular games for coming back in though. You're back when you're back, aren't you?
"You can't do or say any more than that. It would be funny to be against Fulham with them being my former club. But that's just the way it is. If I may my comeback against my former club then so be it.
"For me the most important factor will be that I am back playing and not who I am playing against."
The former Wigan player has made just one appearance for his new club due to his knee injury since his move from Fulham and his return to action will give Brown and the Hull squad a timely boost as they plot their way out of relegation trouble.
"There is no need to panic," Bullard said. "I know we are not in a very good position in the league at the minute but the season is still young and there are plenty of points still up for grabs."
Bullard signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at the KC Stadium but played just 37 minutes of football for the club due to the recurrence of knee trouble after jarring his knee on his debut against West Ham.
He travelled to the Colorado for an operation with Steadman who performed an operationwhen he spent 16 months on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury playing for Fulham in September 2006.
Bullard returned to action to play a key role in the Fulhamâ s dramatic escape from relegation two seasons ago but Roy Hodgson allowed him to leave the London club after he failed to agree a new contract.