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Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Bullard's season ended by injury

Jimmy Bullard
Bullard had major knee surgery 18 months ago whilst at Fulham

Hull midfielder Jimmy Bullard has been ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.

The 30-year-old has played just 53 minutes for the Tigers since his club record move from Fulham in January.

He jarred his knee on his debut against West Ham on 28 January and travelled to the United States to see world-renowned specialist Dr Richard Steadman.

Bullard initially underwent surgery to repair a torn cartilage, but Steadman also discovered fresh ligament damage.

Bullard rejected a new contract at Craven Cottage with boss Roy Hodgson insisting the club could not offer him the long-term deal he wanted.

He became the Tigers' record signing almost a month ago when manager Phil Brown paid about 5m for his services, signing a contract thought to be for four-and-a-half years.

606: DEBATE

"There are no regrets whatsoever about signing Jimmy Bullard," said Brown.

"It is disappointing, very unfortunate, very unlucky. It is obviously highlighted by the fact we invested a lot of money in Jimmy.

"I spoke to the lad on Thursday, he's distraught but very determined and very upbeat about his comeback.

"We wish him well and a speedy recovery. He is quite determined to be back in England, back in the changing room and doing whatever he can for the Hull City cause."

Bullard's latest injury is far worse than the club first feared as it was initially thought he would not require surgery and could recover with rest.

However, after suffering further discomfort Bullard was sent for an operation where cruciate ligament damage was found.

No regrets over Bullard - Hull chairman

Hull City chairman Paul Duffen told BBC Look North: "It's the best thing for the player and the football club.

"In the long term we wanted Jimmy Bullard back at his best. He's signed a four-year-deal and we look forward to welcoming him back at the start of next season."

It is the second major operation Bullard has had on his knee after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury while playing for Fulham against Newcastle in September 2006, which ruled him out for almost one-and-a-half years.

"When he had the injury before he almost severed his knee effectively. This is a fairly standard procedure," Duffen said.



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see also
Bullard critical of Fulham
30 Jan 09 |  Football Focus
Brown praises Bullard after loss
27 Jan 09 |  Premier League


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