HARRY Arter has spent the past few months putting things into perspective.

On his mind recently has been the possibility of his European Championship dream being wrecked by injury.

But the prospect of a setback to his international aspirations due to a problem with his Achilles has been incomparable to the daily pain of losing a child.

Irrespective of his and Cherries’ destiny, Arter says he will only remember the club’s maiden top-flight campaign as “the worst season of my life off the pitch”.

In December, Arter and fiancée Rachel’s world fell apart after she had given birth to their stillborn daughter.

While injury pales into insignificance compared with personal tragedy, Arter admits a knockback as a teenager has helped him come to terms with two unrelated setbacks this season.

He missed the first three months due to a persistent groin problem and now faces a battle to regain his fitness after being troubled by his Achilles.

“The thought of not playing scares me,” said the 26-year-old, who was forced to withdraw from international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

“The love of playing is inside me and drives me. It wouldn’t matter whether it was the Conference or the Premier League, I hate it when I’m not playing.

“When I was 17, I was out for more than a year with an injury. I didn’t know how to react because it was the first time something like that had happened.

“The way I lived my life and the way I dealt with it wasn’t great. It was a huge low because I came back, got released by Charlton and dropped into non-league.

“But every bad experience teaches you about yourself. As you get older and it happens again, you know how to deal with it.

“Thankfully, I have never had an injury as bad as that since so have always felt quite fortunate.

“When I get injured, it is doubly hard but I have to look at the bigger picture. I’ve played 20 games in the Premier League and feel part of a team which has been successful and has a really good chance of staying in the Premier League.

“Whether or not I go to the Euros will be largely down to me. I told Martin O’Neill that I would play through anything to prove myself but he told me not to be silly.

“He was very supportive and said he knew what I could do. He just wanted me to get fit and assured me the games weren’t that important.

“There is still time to show what I can do and, hopefully, I will get a chance in the friendly against Holland before he names the squad for France.”

Having played a pivotal role in Cherries’ Championship-winning season – when he was voted supporters’ player of the year – Arter had been hoping to maintain his form going into the club’s maiden campaign in the top flight.

But the man who was plucked by Eddie Howe from non-league Woking for £4,000 in 2010 endured a frustrating summer due to his groin problem which kept him out until the end of October.

However, his return coincided with an upturn in Cherries’ fortunes with Arter again having played a starring role as Eddie Howe’s team has gone from strength to strength.

Arter said: “The groin injury dragged on for longer than expected. It was very frustrating to watch from the stands.

“I worked hard to get fit and the medical team and support staff were fantastic. Their input often goes unnoticed by people outside the club but it is no coincidence we are one of the fittest teams in the league, if not the fittest.

“I was champing at the bit to come back and it was a relief when the manager gave me the nod for the League Cup game at Liverpool. I know we lost but it was a big milestone for me and the nightmare was behind me.

“My first two games in the Premier League were against Southampton and Newcastle. We lost them both and didn’t play well in the first half at St Mary’s but I felt you could see we were starting to adapt to the level.

“We had a couple of draws against Swansea and Everton and then there were the three wins on the bounce. That was when it really started to hit home that we knew we could compete. It is the best league in the world and there is no let-up. I’ve loved every minute of it and can’t wait to get back.”