AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was pleased to include centre back Elliott Ward in his squad against Aston Villa.
Ward has struggled with a knee problem for the past eleven months, initially suffering the injury in February when he clashed with an advertising board during the defeat with eventual champions Leicester City.
He underwent an operation in May and missed the Cherries pre-season programme, but returned to play in the League Cup match with Exeter City.
Unfortunately he suffered some swelling following the match and following an assessment at the Villa Stuart Sport Clinic in Rome, he underwent further surgery in a bid to repair the damaged knee.
Recently he returned to training and has featured for the development squad. Those performances were enough to convince Howe that with development squad defender Baily Cargill suffering a thigh injury, that Ward could step into the squad if required.
Howe told the Daily Echo…
“It`s a big boost for me and the squad to have a player of Elliott`s experience and quality back within the ranks.
“He`s trained well and has had some good games for the reserves so we are delighted to welcome him back.
“He would have been ready to play if we had needed him. With Baily Cargill injured, that was a big boost for us because we were light in numbers in the centre-half positions.
“It`s great to have a member of the squad back who is so experienced and has been in the position we`re in before. His experience could prove vital for us.”
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