Hull chairman Paul Duffen has defended the club's decision to spend a club record Â£5million on Jimmy Bullard last month.
Bullard has been ruled out for the rest of the season after being told he needs a knee reconstruction. The 30-year-old midfielder has played only 37 minutes for the Tigers since his arrival from Fulham four weeks ago and the club have now admitted his medical revealed a meniscus tear.
"I still think Jimmy is a tremendous value-for-money buy at Â£5million," Duffen told the BBC. "We signed him for four and a half years. It is unfortunate he's injured - players get injured, it's called football. It's not unusual."
He added: "It is very disappointing because of all the hope and expectation for Jimmy arriving at this football club.
"He still has arrived, it just means we won't be seeing him on the field until the beginning of next season. It is disappointing but we have to get on with life and move forward.
"There is no question of this being anything other than a pause in Jimmy's career and I am sure he will come back and regain his former heights once he is fit."
The arrival of Bullard was supposed to reignite Hull's season after a downturn in form since briefly going joint top of the Barclays Premier League in October.
Hull have won only one of their 16 games since and, only six points above the bottom three, are in danger of being dragged into a relegation fight.
Bullard, whose contract reportedly pays him Â£45,000 per week, made his Hull debut as a second-half substitute at West Ham on January 28 but jarred his knee and has not played since.
The club initially claimed the injury was not serious and surgery was not required but it has proved far worse than first feared. The joint will be operated on by the world-renowned Dr Richard Steadman, who carried out Bullard's last major surgery and conducted an arthroscopy earlier this week.
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