Cook return will lift Cherries

Bournemouth
After eight months out with a cruciate ligament injury, Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook says he can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There is no doubting the special talents of Lewis Cook and Bournemouth will be given a real boost when the youngster is back in action.

The 22-year-old is in the final stages of rehabilitation from the serious knee injury he suffered last season and now Cook has returned to training at Bournemouth having spent some time working in America with a specialist.

Manager Eddie Howe will avoid the temptation to rush the England international back into first-team contention as he prepares the squad for Sunday’s visit of Premier League champions Manchester City but a return for the player is exciting.

“Lewis won’t be ready for this game but he is getting closer all the time,” Howe said at a press conference. “He trained with us for the first time fully a couple of days ago, and it will be a big boost for us when we get him fully fit.

“He would need more training sessions and, of course, a couple of games but hopefully he is getting closer.”

Bursting on to the scene at Leeds United, the York-born midfielder’s talents were pretty evident as soon as he broke into the first team at Elland Road.

Working his way up through the England youth set-up from U16s through to a full international cap, it always looked like Cook would earn a senior appearance with the Three Lions.

The playmaker’s efforts in the Championship were never going to go unnoticed for long and Leeds could do little when a big offer came along from the Cherries in the summer of 2016.

His recent injury will of course have been a dark time for the youngster, as he has spent a long time out on the sidelines and unable to play Premier League football.

But, with the news he is back in training, the reward for all those hours on the treatment table and in the gym is soon at hand.

This weekend’s encounter with Premier League champions Manchester City will come too soon for Cook but it’s a long season and manager Howe will ease the Yorkshireman back in slowly to the rigours of top-flight football.

Hopefully, for Bournemouth and for England, that will be the end of Cook’s major injury concerns as this player is too good to be stuck in the treatment room.

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