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First team

Team news: King to be assessed for Arsenal


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Manager Eddie Howe says striker Joshua King has returned to training and will be assessed ahead of Sunday afternoon’s match with Arsenal.

Due to an ankle injury, the Norwegian hasn’t played in over a month since the draw with Southampton, but is closing in on a return to the matchday squad.

“Joshua King has improved and trained with the group and we’ll be excited if he is fit,” said Howe

With a weekend off for the international break, Howe fed back that his squad is in an improved position injury-wise than after the 1-0 loss at St James’ Park in his side’s last game.

He said: “We’re a lot better than we were after the Newcastle game, when we had a number of players with knocks.

"The break has given us the chance to nurse our players and we’ll look at them all and assess their fitness ahead of Sunday.”

One absentee is full-back Adam Smith who will be out for a prolonged period with a knee injury suffered in the team’s last match.

“Adam’s been excellent over a long period of time,” said the Cherries manager. “He has a great energy and enthusiasm and he’s very popular in the dressing room.

“He’s been very versatile, playing well in a number of positions. We will encourage him to come back as quickly as he can, but we are also aware that we want him to come back fully fit and ready to perform.”

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