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First team

Team news: pre-Chelsea update on trio

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Eddie Howe spoke about the availability in his squad ahead of the Carabao Cup quarter-final with Chelsea, with a trio of first-team players making good progress with their injuries.

Striker Callum Wilson came off the bench at Molineux after missing the Liverpool match, while it was the opposite story for Tyrone Mings, who started on Saturday before departing in the first half with an injury picked up in a challenge with Diogo Jota.

The Cherries manager filled in on the duo’s progress: “Callum Wilson had a hamstring problem and we rushed him back to be fit for Wolves, we still have to be careful with him to make sure he can perform over the coming games.”

“Tyrone Mings’ injury isn’t as bad as we first thought, he took a knock to his hip and at first we thought he could be out for weeks but by the looks of things it looks more like he’ll be out for days, so we’re monitoring him.”

Also missing in the West Midlands was captain Simon Francis, with Howe commenting that the defender is closing in on a return.

“Simon Francis has a groin problem,” the manager said. “It’s more of a niggle than anything else, we’ll wait and see how he performs this week. I can’t give you a clear answer on his availability for Chelsea.”

Howe has looked to rotate his squad in the Carabao Cup this season, but with Lewis Cook and Adam Smith also out with longer term injuries the manager could have less choices able to be made for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

He continued: “The options are less than I’d normally have, we do have a number of injury concerns so we’ll have to manage the squad well, picking a team that we think can play very well without risking the players we have.

“It’s a great game for us, we’re very excited to be in the competition and trying to get to the semi-final. It’s well documented that we’ve never been in a major cup semi-final before, so what greater incentive can we have? We’re very excited to try and make that happen.

“We have a massive hurdle to overcome, one I really want my players and staff to relish and try to rise to.”

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