(Reuters) - Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson will be given plenty of time to rediscover his form and fitness before he returns to Premier League action, his manager Eddie Howe said.
Following a second serious knee injury in 15 months, Wilson made his comeback in the reserve side’s Premier League Cup match against Norwich City this month.
He scored twice for the Under-21s in a 3-2 defeat by Cheltenham Town last week but Howe said the 25-year-old was still some way off from being ready for a top-flight game.
“He is closer than he has been because he has had those two games under his belt but with the length of time he has been out, Callum has to get his fitness levels adjusted to the Premier League,” Howe told the Daily Echo.
“You can’t build your form and rhythm in the games, you have to do that before the games to be at your best during the action because in this league, you cannot have someone who is not 100 percent fit.”
Bournemouth have struggled in front of goal this season, scoring four times in eight league games.
“When you lose a player of that quality, you certainly feel it at the time. But when they come back it is like having a new signing,” Howe said.
“There is real competition in the attacking area, an area you need that quality and Callum will sit nicely among those players.”
Bournemouth, second-bottom in the league, visit Stoke City on Saturday.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond