Abel Hernandez
Abel Hernandez is consoled by Manchester United defender Chris Smalling following Hull's relegation Getty Images

Abel Hernandez has been handed a three-match suspension following his altercation with Phil Jones during relegated Hull City's goalless draw with Manchester United on the final day of the Premier League season.

The Uruguayan striker appeared to aim a punch at Jones's midriff in the 70th minute at the KC Stadium as Steve Bruce's side toiled in search of a goal to give themselves a fighting chance of avoiding a return to the Championship. Hernandez did not face any immediate sanction during the match as the incident was clearly not witnessed by referee Lee Probert or his assistants.

Hull's failure to find a winner ultimately proved inconsequential, due to Newcastle's 2-0 win over West Ham, however, and Hernandez's bizarre moment of ill-discipline will now see him miss the start of the 2015/16 campaign.

"Hull City's Abel Hernandez has been handed a three-match suspension, which must be served at the start of next season," the Football Association (FA) confirmed in a statement.

"The forward admitted an act of violent conduct, which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video."

Whether the 23-year-old will serve the ban still in a Hull shirt has to be considered very doubtful indeed.

Having arrived from Serie A outfit Palermo in a club-record £10m ($15.2m, €13.9m) deal in September 2014, Hernandez has failed to provide a significant return on that investment with a record of just four goals in 25 top-flight appearances.

Hull's chronic lack of consistency in front of goal was bemoaned by Bruce as the key factor behind its relegation and it stands to reason that it may be content to cut its losses on the likes of Hernandez as part of a necessary bid to reduce costs.

"What happened today, probably, is the story of our season. We've done enough to probably win the game. We've had enough opportunities but the stark reality is for nearly 50% of our games, we haven't scored," the manager, whose own future now appears uncertain, said following confirmation of the Tigers' fate.

"We've created enough chances, we have been adventurous with two up top, but we've never been able to score enough. That's not me criticising the strikers, it's a criticism of the team.

"As a team, we haven't been able to score enough. They can come from centre-back positions, full-backs but that is the damning stat that has been put against us."

Hull have already announced the respective summer departures of Liam Rosenior, Paul McShane, Yannick Sagbo, Maynor Figueroa, Steve Harper and Joe Dudgeon, yet remain hopeful that Alex Bruce and Stephen Quinn will sign new contracts.