Bruce said: "If a goal bounces in off Zaki's backside, he would probably be capable of getting another six goals before the end of the season. We'll see how he does.
"Zaki is a bit of a one-off, he can either be on a real high or feeling really down, he needs to find an equilibrium."
Soon after though, Bruce lost Zaki's services to a hamstring injury sustained whilst playing in a World Cup qualifier. Egypt had already used their three substitutes and Zaki had to play on in the 1-1 draw with Zambia on 29th March.
Five days later, Zaki still hadn't returned and Wigan Athletic couldn't get in touch with him, nor were they able to assess the injury he was using as the excuse for staying away. Bruce went public over the issue:
"I am really at the end of my tether with him. Before this latest incident, Zaki had already been fined considerably more than the average person in Britain earns in a year and he will now face another hefty fine.
"I just feel it's time we went public on just what a nightmare he has been to deal with because I can honestly say that in all my time in football I have never worked with someone as unprofessional.
"This is the fourth time he has not reported back on time from international training.
"I have already fined him the maximum amount allowed but this just seems to have no effect. I am now fearful that if I don't take firm action, it will disrupt the rest of my squad who - to a man - behave totally professionally.
"But my South American players for instance, have to go much longer distances but I have never had a problem with any of them.
"In Zaki's case, it really defies belief from a player who is on loan and trying to earn himself a long-term contract.
"When his daughter was ill before Christmas, I gave him extra time off, while I know my staff have worked very hard to help him settle in England.
"I'm sick of answering questions about Zaki's whereabouts and I don't want anything to distract the players from preparing for another massive game for us on Sunday against Everton.
"Zaki's behaviour has shown total disrespect to the club who pays him a very good wage and equally as importantly, to the fans who sing his names from the stands. I think it's time for them to know the truth about the man.
"The situation needs to be resolved as soon as possible and I don't feel it's appropriate to say anything more at this stage, apart from how let down I feel, personally and professionally."
Zaki mysteriously said "there are some things I don't want to reveal right now", while his agent said he was resting in Egypt on the advice of the national team's medical staff. 12 days after the match in Cairo, Zaki met with the Wigan manager and chief executive to apologise and receive his fine.