Hull talisman Jimmy Bullard made a goalscoring return to action in the club's reserves on Tuesday night.
The key midfielder has not featured for the Tigers since suffering knee ligament damage in the defeat at Aston Villa on December 5.
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Manager Phil Brown had hoped the 31-year-old would be fit to rejoin the club's Barclays Premier League relegation battle before the end of January, but that assessment proved optimistic and Bullard is now closing in on a return and could make the trip to Everton on March 7.
He stepped up his comeback by playing for an hour and opening the scoring in Hull's 3-0 reserve victory over Wigan at North Ferriby.
Bullard struck after flicking up a tapped free-kick and volleying home in the first half.
His outing was reminiscent of the last time he came back from injury and scored for the reserves in October 2009.
He returned to first-team action soon after and sparked an upturn in the club's fortunes with a series of performances that earned him he Premier League player-of-the-month award for November.
His latest injury led to fears of another lengthy lay-off after two major knee operations since September 2006 but the problem affected his other knee and was not as serious.
With Hull not in Premier League action this weekend, Bullard will now hope to feature in a friendly against Galway United on Friday.
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