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First team

Injury news: Brady returns to training

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth head coach Scott Parker has revealed that Robbie Brady has returned to training ahead of this weekend’s game with Derby County.

The Republic of Ireland international hasn’t been involved in a match-day squad since the win over QPR in December and while this weekend’s game may come too soon for him, Parker is pleased to have Brady back on the grass.

Sitting down with the media ahead of the game, Parker said: “Robbie Brady is on the grass and trained with us today. We’re pleased to have him back in training, albeit it is only his first full day with the group.

“Junior [Stanislas] is progressing really well and is heading in the right direction. He’s still a few weeks away but heading in the right direction.”

The Cherries head coach confirmed that no fresh injury concerns have emerged from Tuesday’s draw with Peterborough United but he will have to do without Philip Billing, who is serving a two-game suspension having received his tenth booking of the season.

Parker added: “We’re disappointed that Phil is going to be missing two games through suspension, but it gives the opportunity for someone else to get the shirt and make a claim.

“We’ve got a good squad like we’ve always said and the players understand their roles so whoever comes in is in a good place, so we’re looking forward to seeing that player taking that opportunity.”

One positive for Parker is the return of Jefferson Lerma, who has completed a four-game suspension following his red card against Birmingham City, and the head coach admitted he’s pleased to have the Colombia international return.

“One of the real disappointing things this year is Jeff missing so many games through suspension.

“We’ve all seen, when he’s been in and around it, his quality and experience and we’ve missed him for that. He’s had a lot of days on his own and hard work over the last three or four weeks.

“Overall, I’m very pleased we’ve got him back and up for selection at the weekend.”

The gaffer also confirmed defender James Hill featured in a development squad game against Aldershot Town this week.

The 20-year-old centre-back has made two appearances since his arrival from Fleetwood Town in January and Parker expects the youngster to have a ‘big future’ at the club.

“I just want him to breathe at the moment and settle. He played in a midweek game for the development squad against Aldershot and I had some glowing reports back from the staff who were at that game.

“His attitude and demeanour around the place has been superb, this is a young player who we have real high hopes for and at the moment, I just want him to settle into things, keep improving and in the coming weeks we’ll start ramping things up even more for him.”

“He’s got a big future here and we think the world of him.”

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