Hull boss Nigel Pearson insists veteran midfielder Ian Ashbee is a key part of his plans.
The 33-year-old has been stepping up his recovery after more than a year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury by appearing in City's friendly triumphs over North Ferriby and York.
"He'll be a very important player for us this season," Pearson told the Hull Daily Mail.
"I thought he was very positive against York but we'll see how that one progresses in the next couple of weeks.
"Ian's worked very hard in pre-season so far and for him to come through 45 minutes against North Ferriby and about 60 minutes against York is a huge plus for him and for us as well.
"I'm really pleased that he's been able to get that under his belt."
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