AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has confirmed via the club's official website that defender Adam Smith is close to making a return after he sustained a hamstrig injury.
Smith has been on the sidelines for approximately seven weeks after he was taken off the pitch during Bournemouth's 3-1 loss to Leicester City at King Power Stadium.
The 28-year-old has reportedly resumed training with the first team and could feature for the Cherries as they host Norwich City at Vitality Stadium on Saturday.
During a pre-match press conference, Howe raised some injury concerns concerning a number of players who returned to the club from their respective international duties.
“We have a couple of slight concerns but, in the main, when you lose your players for that period of time and you have games ahead, you’re always slightly fearful how they are going to come back but we can be relatively pleased,” Howe said.
“We’re pretty much as we were. Adam Smith is getting closer, David Brooks is still some way away, as are Dan Gosling and Junior Stanislas. But the rest are pretty much there.
“Adam has trained. We’ve had to take our time with his hamstring injury. It wasn’t an absolute clear low-grade strain so we had to be careful with him. We’ve taken our time with him so he’s close.
“David Brooks is at the stage where we’re building his fitness. We haven’t seen him in training but we’re building that endurance that he needs and that’s the process he’s going through.
“I wouldn’t say he’s particularly enjoying it because it’s really hard work but, once he gets back on the grass, that’s when he’ll have a big smile on his face. He’ll be kicking a ball again so he’s doing some hard yards at the moment but he’s not too far away.”
Howe on Norwich City and their campaign so far: “They have approached the Premier League in a Norwich City fashion under Daniel.
“I think they’ve been really impressive. I watched their first game against Liverpool. I thought they did really well. They were beaten but they did really well in the game and I admire any team that has a clear philosophy and sticks with it.
“They are a very attacking team, a brave team and have good technical players. The fact they beat Manchester City shows their capabilities and we know we’re going to have to be very good in this game in all aspects of our play because they are a dangerous team.”
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