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First team

Team news: Wait and See on King

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Joshua King’s fitness is subject to a ‘late call’ ahead of the trip to play Wolves on Wednesday, with the striker’s injury not as bad as first feared.

The Norwegian was substituted just after half time in the weekend match with Crystal Palace after a heavy tackle from Gary Cahill.

However, despite limping off with an injured ankle, Eddie Howe says a decision on King’s readiness will be made late ahead of his side’s Premier League trip to Molineux.

“We’ll wait and see, we feared at the start that his season could be over because he signalled straight away that he’d have to come off,” reported the manager in his pre-match press conference.

“Then from the replays it looked like a nasty injury, but the scans have shown it’s a very minor strain to one of his ligaments so we’ll make a late call on Josh and see whether he’s available for this game.

“As a former defender, to be honest I thought he (Cahill) got the ball first, I wouldn’t be wanting a red card if that was one of my players.

“Unfortunately, he caught Josh and we missed him for the rest of that game, but no, I didn’t see too much wrong.”

A positive from the weekend came with the return of David Brooks, the Wales international making his first appearance of the season and playing just over an hour at Vitality Stadium.

“He’s recovered well,” said Howe of Brooks. “It was unfortunate, I thought he was doing well in the game but was suffering from cramp quite early, that was related to the fact that he missed the last bit of training before we played.

“That was due to the hand injury he picked up, it’s quite evident he picked up a hand knock. We envisage that he will improve with every game, but there were certainly signs of David’s quality.”

Howe assessed the rest of his squad, saying that injured midfielder Philip Billing is closing in on a return.

“Philip Billing is very close, I’ve been really pleased with the way he’s responded to the work that we’ve done with him. He’s getting closer, Josh is a doubt, apart form that I think we’re okay.”

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