Hull City’s hopes of staying clear of the relegation zone have been dealt a blow with central defender James Chester ruled out until March with a hamstring. Hull’s defence is the best in the bottom half of the table so far in the campaign, and Chester has been a key reason behind Steve Bruce’s side’s impressive defensive record this season. His injury is likely to affect the club’s odds for relegation with Unibet.
Chester and his defensive counterparts have been essential to Hull entering February with a great chance of avoiding relegation this season, Bruce will now be desperately hoping the loss of Chester won’t see a collapse in the defensive unit that has so far been the Tigers’ backbone this season.
The hamstring injury is the same problem that sidelined Chester for three months earlier in the season, and Bruce admitted the injury was a massive blow to a player who had been in impressive form since returning to the side following his previous injury.
“James has damaged the tendon again, the one that he damaged at the start of the season. It’s not as bad as it was the first time he did it, but it’s still a concern because it is the same tendon high up in his hamstring,” said Bruce.
“He’s going to be at least six weeks away I would have thought. It’s a shame because he was just finding his feet again after his last spell out, but that is football,” added Bruce.
With his defence looking as solid as any in and around the relegation zone, Bruce added strikers Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic to his squad in the hope of finding the goals Hull will need to make sure they aren’t dragged into the bottom three. With the battle at the bottom looking set to go down to the wire this season, Hull will be hoping they have secured their top-flight status long before the final game of the campaign.