There was more controversy as Zaki was seen leaving a Manchester bar 13 hours before kick-off against Arsenal, a game he wasn't due to be involved in but a potential breach of discipline none the less.
The matter was supposedly resolved then, but just a couple of weeks later as Zaki made his return to the squad Bruce revealed all:
"We haven't got umpteen forwards and I know what I would like to do with his behaviour, but it has not been possible so he is in the squad.
"Our relationship is okay. The one thing I don't do in management is bear a grudge. But I am upset and disappointed with his behaviour and what happened because it does have a big effect on the dressing room."
"At the end of the day he has not scored in open play since October, when he scored twice against Liverpool. Then he is supposed to be going to every club in Europe - Real Madrid at one stage - and I think the whole thing turned into a circus and it affected him.
"He has not been the same since. If he had kept his head down, kept working away and been the player he was at the start of the year, rather than being what he was at the moment, then everything would be hunky-dory.
"I can't leave him out of the squad because we haven't got enough players."
Zaki made three further substitute appearances and then Wigan announced, before the season was even over, that they wouldn't be keeping him.
But Zaki's agent, Mohamed Saied, claimed it was Wigan who had been rejected after better offers came in from four other Premier League clubs. Nothing came of it though and Zaki has been back at Zamalek ever since.