CHERRIES star Harry Arter is confident he will be ready for the start of pre-season after injury had forced him to withdraw from international duty.

Midfielder Arter has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland on Saturday due to groin and hip problems.

The 25-year-old took the decision after being assessed by a specialist and has been advised to rest for two to three weeks.

Arter, who enjoyed an injury-free campaign as Cherries won promotion to the Premier League, is hoping to link up with the rest of Eddie Howe’s squad when they return at the end of the month.

He told the Daily Echo: “It is nothing too serious but I don’t want to risk any long-term damage. It is disappointing because I have really enjoyed being away with the Republic of Ireland.”

Arter, meanwhile, hopes Cherries team-mate Matt Ritchie again stars for Scotland but is also desperate to see his close pal finish on the losing side when the countries lock horns.

Ritchie was named man of the match after netting the only goal of Scotland’s warm-up win against Qatar in a friendly eight days ago, while Arter came off the bench and turned in a lively display during the Republic’s 0-0 draw with England on Sunday.

Ritchie and Arter both played leading roles as Cherries clinched promotion to the Premier League, scoring 22 goals between them as Howe’s team won the Championship.

Arter told the Daily Echo: “It was an honour to come off the bench against England on Sunday and a very proud moment for me. I’m sure Mattie felt the same after scoring his first international goal for Scotland.

“As much as I hope he does well if he is selected, my first and only thought is with Ireland winning the game. You don’t want to see anybody on the opposite side having a positive effect on the game. The result is the be-all and end-all.

Arter, who netted eight goals in 43 Championship appearances last season, added: “I remember when I saw Mattie for the first time and he tore us apart. In hindsight, I was fortunate not to be involved when he inspired Swindon to a 4-0 win against us a couple of years ago.

“Everyone had said how good he was and it was the first time I’d seen him play. I could really appreciate just how much of a good player he was and he has been firing for us ever since his move.

“He played a massive part in our two promotions and his stats speak for themselves. He is like a kid in the playground and loves training and playing. Sometimes, the manager has to tell him to calm down because he is so excited!

“You can see that in games and he does so much for the team. He wants to score and provide as many assists as he can. He strives every day to be as good as he can and deserves all the praise he gets.”

Arter added: “Although you wouldn’t say the game is make or break, it is one neither team can really afford to lose.

“I watched the game in November and it wasn’t the prettiest. It was fairly hostile and they came out on top. Hopefully, we can come out on top.”