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The 21-year-old has been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks but may need a hernia operation and his manager is eager not to lose the Republic of Ireland international

Hull City Tigers boss Steve Bruce has revealed that Robbie Brady could face a lengthy time on the sidelines if he needs a hernia operation.

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Brady has been struggling with the problem in recent weeks but has played through the pain barrier for Bruce's side.

And with Robert Koren (foot) and James Chester (hamstring) already ruled out, Bruce does not want to lose the 21-year-old, with there being hope that he can make it through to next month's international break without the need for an operation.

The Republic of Ireland international has starred for Hull in the Premier League this season, scoring twice in five matches, including in Saturday's 3-2 win at Newcastle, and would be a big loss for Bruce.

"He's got a bit or problem but whether or not he needs an operation we'll see," the Hull boss said. "It’s touch and go at the moment.

"Nowadays these hernia operations are done quickly but we'll have to see how he is. He's better this week than he was last week.

"It's a problem. Whether or not it's big enough to require an operation we don't know at this stage."

Brady is expected to play on Saturday when Hull host West Ham but one player who will not be available is striker Matty Fryatt, with the 27-year-old signing a short-term loan deal at Championship side Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.

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