Bruce: Dunn return in sight
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steve Bruce believes that David Dunn will be ready to return for next season.Steve Bruce admits that the injury troubles dogging David Dunn have been 'horrific' for the club and the player, although he indicated that the end may be in sight.
The 25-year-old joined Birmingham in the summer of 2003 from Blackburn Rovers, although his career has not taken off as expected due to a succession of blows.
However Bruce is now hopeful that the midfielder's recent operation will ensure his return to full fitness in time for the start of next season.
Dunn has struggled with hamstring injuries, with a specialist revealing the problem to be an issue with his back, and Bruce has emphasised just how much the side miss him.
"We have explored everything over the last 14 to 15 months to try and get to the bottom of Dunny's problem, we have spoken to all kinds of people," said Bruce.
"It has been horrific for us and the lad himself because he is such an influential player.
"If you look at when he has been in the team, we definitely improve as a team.
"When he first came here we played some of our best football in The Premiership and were in the top five or six for the first half of last season before Dunny's problems started."
This season with Dunn in the side The Blues have lost just once in ten games, and, coupled with the loss of Mikael Forssell, his absence has been a major blow to Bruce's pretensions of securing a respectable league position.
However the former Manchester United legend is now insistent that Dunn could return to the first team squad in time for next year's campaign.
"He is one of those big four or five players that we have been missing for most of this season that you cannot afford to be missing.
"But we thought it was better having the operation at this stage in the hope that David will be back in action next season.
"Without getting too technical he has got something in his lower back which needs to be repaired which triggers off things in his hamstrings.
"It is not a career-threatening type of situation and the plan now is for him to be fit in four or five months for pre-season."