London - Hull City's return to the Premier League was dealt a savage double injury blow on Monday when the club said goalkeeper Allan McGregor and defender Alex Bruce will each be out long term.
It could mean that manager Steve Bruce will need to dip into the transfer market to reinforce his squad.
McGregor needs an operation on his back and centre-back Bruce -- the manager's son -- will need surgery for an Achilles injury.
"It's unfortunate because the pair of them are going to be out for between four and six months, and as you can imagine they are both distraught at the moment," boss Bruce told the club website.
"They're severe injuries and you don't want that at this particular time, however with the way medical departments work these days, we wish them both a speedy recovery."