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Sunday 22 October 2017

Robbie Brady 'comes from nowhere' to earn spot in Hull's Wembley squad

Robbie Brady of Hull
Robbie Brady of Hull

Colin Young

Republic of Ireland international Robbie Brady is set to make a sensational return for Hull City in Saturday's FA Cup Final.

The former Manchester United midfielder has not played since the middle of February after succumbing to a groin injury which had troubled him throughout the season and forced him to have surgery.

But Brady returned to training with Steve Bruce's squad yesterday and he has been included in the squad to face Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday evening. Bruce has announced that only centre-back James Chester is out of the final.

"Brady has come from nowhere in the last couple of weeks," Bruce said. "It's amazing what an FA Cup final does. We've seen him in training for the first time in six months so it's been incredible and he will be in the squad."

The Dubliner was a revelation for Hull in the opening month of their Premier League return before injury scuppered his progress.

CHANCE

Last week Paul McShane also made his return from a lengthy absence and he played in Hull's final Premier League fixture at home to Everton. Chester's absence strengthens his chance of involvement.

McShane has told Bruce that he is available for selection.

"I'll just get myself prepared for the game in the same way I always do and, if called upon, I'll be ready to step in," said the Wicklow native.

"It was tough on Sunday, especially against a good side like Everton, but it was good to get your bearings again. I'm happy that I came through the 60 minutes without a muscle strain. That's what the physios were fearing when I came back so early, that I might suffer a strain or something. But my body feels good.

"The ankle injury was quite severe. I basically had no anterior ligament in my ankle so I needed an operation. At the start they were saying I'd be lucky to get back for pre-season so to make it back now and be available again is great. It's been a long road but it's always nice to get back a little bit earlier. It's like a test against yourself to see if you can push the boundaries."

With Shane Long cup-tied, David Meyler is the most likely Irish starter on Saturday, although midfielder Stephen Quinn has also forced himself into contention.

Quinn is part of the debate now that Bruce has suggested he could pack the midfield. He scored in the semi-final win over Sheffield United but has been starved of opportunities this term.

"It's been a difficult year because of the form of (Tom) Huddlestone, (Jake) Livermore and Meyler," said Bruce. "He's got competition but he never lets you down and, again, he was our best player by a million miles in our last two games."

Irish Independent

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