Cherries’ defender on comeback trail

Lloyd Kelly has credited his foster care upbringing with helping him fulfil his international dreams.

Bournemouth summer signing Lloyd Kelly feels he has come through the injury problems he has had and can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The defender picked up an ankle ligament injury in a pre-season friendly in the summer not long after joining the club in a £13m move from Bristol City.

He has yet to pull on a Cherries’ shirt in a competitive game but feels he is getting closer after his latest appearance for the second string.

Kelly played over an hour in the Senior Cup clash with Basingstoke on Tuesday night and he manged to get his name on the score-sheet as the Cherries ran out 8-0 winners but more importantly he got an hour of action under his belt.

His return marks the start of his comeback for the side as he has more or less had to start again in an effort to impress boss Eddie Howe.

Kelly’s injury in the summer came at a poor time after he had already started to make a name for himself on the Cherries’ pre-season tour of Spain and the 20-year-old admitted it was a blow to his hopes of a fast start in the Premier League.

He told The Echo: “It happened at a bad time really, a week before the season started. I felt like I was having a good pre-season, but luckily enough I came back ahead of schedule.

“I managed to get back a lot quicker than we first expected, but I think mentally it is a bit of a tough period to get through, especially when most of the time you’re working one-to-one with the physios and everyone else is out on the pitches training.

“But I’m happy to get through the other side now.”

Kelly can also operate as a centre-half but has his sights set on the left-back spot at Bournemouth where Adam Smith, Diego Rico and Nathan Ake have all played this season.

Kelly will be hoping to build up his match fitness in the coming weeks although Friday’s trip to Southampton will come too soon.