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First team

Team news: Cook edging closer to fitness

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Manager Eddie Howe gave an update on Lewis Cook’s timeline for return as he spoke ahead of Sunday’s match with Manchester City.

Howe didn’t talk of any new injury setbacks in his squad and detailed midfielder Cook’s return to training earlier this week.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the manager said: “Lewis won’t be ready for this game but he’s getting closer all the time.

“He trained with us for the first time fully a couple of days ago and it will be a big boost for us when he comes back. He needs more time with us, more time in training and more matches, but he’s getting closer."

The squad was hit by injuries again ahead of the Premier League start, with Howe speaking of how he and his coaching staff deal with the setbacks.

“You have to adapt,” he said of the injury list. “We have a slight hangover from last season and the players who had long-term injuries and during pre-season we picked up a few more.

“We are where we are but we’re doing everything we can to do as well as we can with the options we’ve got.

“We’ve got versatile players in the squad which helps but we can’t take any more injuries.

“Last week Dominic Solanke came off the bench and made a real difference. I believe in the team we have and what we can do.”

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