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First team

Kelly - I’m looking forward to playing

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Determined AFC Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly is targeting a rapid return as he looks to hit the comeback trail following a minor injury setback.

Kelly felt discomfort in his thigh during a training session ahead of the international break, sidelining him for the second time since he signed from Bristol City in the summer.

The 21-year-old impressed during friendlies against AFC Wimbledon, Girona and West Brom before sustaining an ankle injury at the end of July.

It ruled him out for seven weeks with Kelly scoring on his return to action during Cherries’ Hampshire Senior Cup win over Basingstoke in September.

Kelly then made his full debut for the club in the Carabao Cup defeat at Burton Albion and was named in matchday squads for Premier League games against Arsenal, Norwich, Watford and Manchester United.

His thigh problem ruled him out of last week’s trip to Newcastle and also forced him to withdraw from the England under-21 squad for their European Championship qualifier against Albania and a friendly in the Netherlands.

In an interview with afcb.co.uk, Kelly said: “I picked up a minor injury in training and it came out of the blue.

“It shouldn’t be too long, I’d say two to three weeks so, hopefully, I should be back with the boys after the international break which is good.

“It was disappointing not being able to go away with England and missing the two games. But, at the same time, it’s a positive that I could be back for our next Premier League game.

“When I first came here, I wanted to play as many games as I could but picking up the first injury a couple of weeks into pre-season wasn’t ideal.

“To get this one a couple of weeks after I’d come back made it a bit of a double blow but it will give me time to make sure I’m right when I return.”

Despite his injury misfortune, the young Bristolian says he has settled well in his new environment and is loving life at Vitality Stadium.

“I’ve settled in really well,” added Kelly. “I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer than I have which is good.

“I’m enjoying life here, it’s a nice place to live and there’s a good feel about the club. I’m enjoying every minute of it.

“I feel I’ve adjusted well to training. It’s a bit different to where I was previously and the manager wants to play a specific way. He wants to play exciting football with a lot of athleticism and I feel I’ve settled in well. I’m looking forward to playing as many games as I can.”

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