(Reuters) - Hull City captain Michael Dawson could return to action in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Stoke City after three months on the sidelines with a knee injury, manager Mike Phelan said on Friday.
The 32-year-old, who injured knee ligaments in pre-season, made 32 starts in the Championship last term as Hull earned promotion to the Premier League after a year in the second tier.
“Dawson has trained all week. He’s ready,” Phelan told a news conference.
Phelan urged Hull, 16th in the table, to put last weekend’s 6-1 trouncing by Bournemouth behind them and demanded an instant reaction against Stoke, who are third from bottom in the table.
“The supporters will want to see a reaction. Those who traveled all the way to Bournemouth will have been disappointed, as we all were. We certainly didn’t expect that result,” he said.
“We have to make sure we’re prepared to learn from the last few weeks and the defeats we’ve taken. Nothing is given to you in this game. There’s no shortage of effort, it’s just about doing the basics correctly.”
Phelan said either 17-year-old Josh Tymon or defender Sam Clucas could replace left back Andy Robertson, who is out for up to eight weeks after injuring his calf at Bournemouth.
Defender Moses Odubajo, a key figure in Hull’s promotion-winning campaign, was ruled out for six more months earlier this week after being told by doctors that he required more surgery on the knee he fractured during the close season.
“He was absolutely in top class condition, training really hard, very committed and looking forward to what would have probably been another couple of weeks,” said Phelan, who was handed the Hull job on a permanent basis just before the Bournemouth defeat.
“At the end of that session he was doing, he had a fall which resulted in his patella being fractured -- so we are taking the steps now to make sure he’s being rehabilitated right.”
Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis