BOSS Eddie Howe says he would have no hesitation in starting Lee Camp in Cherries’ Championship opener at Huddersfield without the goalkeeper having featured during pre-season.
Camp has been sidelined for all four of Cherries’ warm-up friendlies after being troubled by a nagging thigh problem which he first felt during the club’s training camp in Austria.
The 29-year-old has been receiving intensive treatment from the Cherries medical staff and Howe said he expected to discover the full extent of the injury early this week.
But while Howe is confident the injury is not serious, Camp is unlikely to be risked in any of Cherries’ final three friendlies, starting with tomorrow’s visit to Portsmouth.
Camp, who played a key role in Cherries’ finishing 10th in the Championship last season, had not played competitively for seven months before he moved to Dean Court, initially on loan, in November.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “We are waiting to find out the exact extent of his injury. We don’t believe it to be serious but it has niggled on for a couple of weeks longer than we had hoped.
“I don’t think pre-season is as important for a goalkeeper as it is for outfield players. Lee knows how we play and is a fit lad. He looks after himself and is a very good professional so I would have no problems playing him with no training. From that perspective, it is fine and it is just a case of making sure his thigh is right.”
Benji Buchel has shouldered most of the goalkeeping duties during pre-season with Darryl Flahavan also nursing a minor injury. Ryan Allsop is with Coventry until January and there is not normally any provision for recalls when players are on long-term loans.
Howe added: “Pre-season is a great chance to give young players experience and Benji Buchel will have learned so much in the past couple of weeks. It is a great opportunity for him as it is for the other young players. I thought they all did well against Southampton and were a real highlight. Part of pre-season is giving players experiences they haven’t had before.”
Striker Yann Kermorgant, who took a heavy blow to his lower leg when he was caught by Jose Fonte, could be rested as a precaution against Pompey.
Meanwhile, Cherries defender Miles Addison has completed a month-long loan switch to League One Scunthorpe.