Friday, 9 April 2010
Hunt for the truth
Exactly what is going on with Stephen Hunt?
Hull City's most impressive performer this season has been absent with a foot injury since the 3-0 defeat to West Ham United at the end of February. The silence from the club about the extent and nature of the injury has been deafening ever since.
Week on week, we get a flat piece of unemotive news that Hunt will not play in the next game because of his foot injury. This includes this weekend's almighty visit of Burnley to the KC Stadium.
What we do know is that Hunt was struggling with the injury before he exited the first team. This begs the question as to whether he was playing through the pain barrier or if the club had misinterpreted the extent of the injury, thereby making it worse by playing him. Either way, the club needs to come clean. Hunt, of course, is best qualified to decide if his foot is up the rigours of Premier League tackling, especially given that he is the sort of character who blows the shorter fuses among top flight defenders and therefore falls victim to physical retribution, but ultimately the club has to execute a fragile balancing act between needing its best players and protecting their long term health.
Hunt's importance to the team is almost beyond measure and this is endorsed as much by his recent absence as it was previously by his 100 per cent appearance record up to and including the horror show at Upton Park. We have few players as good as Hunt; we certainly have nobody up to the task of directly replacing him, and playing the listless Kevin Kilbane or the right-footed Dean Marney wide on the left has merely served to emphasise just how huge Hunt's presence is.
So, is he going to play again this season? Does he need surgery? Did he exacerbate the injury by continuing to play? If the latter is true, it shows how desperately lacking in depth and talent our squad is. And although we should be capable of beating Burnley without Hunt in the side, it'd still be nice to have him available - and if he isn't available, then just tell us why and for how long. We're the ones hoping and praying for Premier League survival, and we'll know a lot better to we can raise our expectations if the truth about Hunt is explained.
Posted by Boyhood Dreams