CHERRIES winger Ryan Fraser is in line to return to training next week after fears were allayed he could have missed the start of the new season.
Fraser was a casualty of Cherries’ friendly at Dorchester five days ago and was substituted midway through the first half after sustaining a knee injury.
Although there were concerns the Scotsman may have damaged his medial ligaments after taking a couple of blows to his left knee, Fraser was fortunate to escape with only bruising.
The 20-year-old will definitely sit out Cherries’ next two friendlies – against Southampton tomorrow and at Portsmouth on Tuesday – but should be ready to rejoin Eddie Howe’s squad in training next week.
However, with just 16 days until Cherries’ Championship curtain-raiser at Huddersfield, Fraser is unlikely to be risked in any of the club’s remaining four first-team warm-up games.
Assistant boss Jason Tindall told the Daily Echo: “Ryan has made good progress over the past couple of days. We have taken him out of training this week and left him in the hands of the physios. It is pre-season and there is no need to rush back any player. He should be back on the training ground in a week or so.”
Tindall said striker Tokelo Rantie had a chance of being included against Southampton after a precautionary scan to his groin had revealed nothing untoward.
“He has been running on the pitches in the past couple of days and has had some hard sessions with the coaches,” said Tindall. “If he doesn’t make the Southampton game, he will definitely feature against Portsmouth, providing there is no reaction.”
Goalkeeper Lee Camp, who has missed Cherries’ first three warm-up games with a thigh problem, is again expected to sit out against both Saints and Pompey as a precaution.
Previewing the clash, Tindall said: “We are fortunate to be playing good opposition and have three good games in the space of eight days. Southampton had a great season so it will be a really good test for us. It will be good to see how we are physically and also if we can continue the good work we have shown in pre-season so far.”