Hull City have suffered a pair of pre-season injury blows ahead of their return to the Premier League, with Steve Bruce expecting goalkeeper Allan McGregor and Alex Bruce to be sidelined for up to six months.
McGregor missed the final three matches of last term with a back injury as Hull sealed promotion via the play-offs and a lack of progress means he will require surgery.
Alex Bruce will also require an operation on an Achilles problem, ruling the pair out for at least the next four months.
"It's obviously a blow to lose both of them. For Alex and Allan, it's obviously a worry. The way the medical teams have progressed, they'll come back strongly," said manager Steve Bruce.
| Speaking to the press in Portugal, Steve Bruce has confirmed that both players will be out of action for 4-6 months-- Hull City (@HullCity) July 11, 2016
"They'll be desperately disappointed because there's nothing worse than trying to go into a new season and picking up injuries like these. I'm sure they'll be back but it's a case of when. It's not a great start, I have to tell you."
Steve Bruce added the injury to McGregor will likely require an additional goalkeeper to be signed before beginning their Premier League campaign at home to champions Leicester City on August 13.
"The injury to the goalkeeper is a big one. You've got to go with three goalkeepers and if Allan is going to be out for four up to six months I'm going to have to address that. That isn't healthy," he added.