EUNAN O’Kane is set to be fit for the start of pre-season after fears were allayed he may have sustained a serious injury during Cherries’ 1-0 defeat at Millwall.

O’Kane was replaced at the interval after falling awkwardly on his shoulder during the first half and left The Den with his right arm in a sling.

And there were initial concerns the midfielder may have suffered long- term damage, which could have kept him out of Cherries’ warm-up campaign.

But following a precautionary scan to ascertain whether he may require surgery, O’Kane was given the all-clear and told he would not need to go under the knife.

O’Kane, rewarded for his exploits last season with a new three-and-a-half year deal, spent a brief spell on the sidelines in March with a hip injury.

Cherries physio Steve Hard said: “Eunan fell on his shoulder and was in too much pain to play the second half. The injury was more towards the end of his collarbone rather than to the shoulder itself.

“He had a scan which showed a small injury and it will settle down. He will be fine for the start of pre-season and doesn’t need surgery.”

O’Kane, who has been receiving intensive treatment from Hard, is due to be reassessed when he returns from a short break back home in Northern Ireland.

Hard has also this month been monitoring defender Elliott Ward and utility man Joe Partington, both of whom will be ruled out for the start of pre-season.

Ward sustained a knee injury when he collided with an advertising hoarding during Cherries’ defeat by Leicester in February and aggravated the problem on his return at Ipswich on Easter Monday.

He had surgery on his right knee eight days later and is expected to be sidelined for around 12 weeks, keeping him out until the middle of July.

Hard will keep tabs on Ward throughout the summer and the player is likely to start some remedial work before the rest of Eddie Howe’s squad return at the end of June.

Partington is recovering from major surgery after sustaining a serious knee injury during the early stages of Aldershot’s 1-1 draw at Dartford in February.

The 24-year-old, who was on loan to the Conference outfit at the time, had an operation to have his right knee reconstructed after rupturing ligaments.

He was told to expect to spend three to four months on the sidelines and is
on target to return to full training towards the end of July.