Bruce to 'box clever' with Ben Arfa
The attacker - on loan from Newcastle United - played the full 90 minutes as Hull lost 3-2 at West Brom in the League Cup on Wednesday, but has been short of match practice in recent months.
And Bruce admitted that it would be asking too much of the Frenchman to throw him into the starting XI for Saturday's visit of Manchester City.
"There's no question he can pick a pass, he's got fantastic ability," he said. "But we also have to bear in mind he hasn't really played since last February, which is a hell of a long time.
"He might have a part to play on Saturday but there's a lot to do with his levels of fitness and he's still got a lot to do before we let him loose on the Premier League.
"It would be wrong of me to ask him to play two games in four days when he hasn't played one in seven months.
"We have to box clever with him. Everybody knows what ability the kid's got and he'll be a big asset I'm sure, but we have to get him to the right fitness levels."
Hull sit 10th in the Premier League with one win from their opening five matches.