INFLUENTIAL midfielder Harry Arter could be set to hand Cherries a timely boost after taking his first steps on the comeback trail.

Arter, who has been troubled by a persistent groin injury since the summer, trained today for the first time this season with Eddie Howe’s squad.

The 25-year-old went under the knife following a consultation with a top specialist in Germany a fortnight ago and has been working on his rehab with physio Steve Hard.

Arter, who enjoyed an injury-free campaign as Cherries won promotion to the top flight, was named in Cherries’ first 25-man squad for the Premier League.

Fielding a question put by the Daily Echo at today’s press conference ahead of the visit to Norwich, boss Eddie Howe said: “Harry has had an operation which we hope has finally got to the bottom of his problem.

“There are no guarantees until he is back playing but we are hopeful that he is now through the worst of his problems and is on the road to recovery.

“He is such a big player for us. We are very keen to get him fit and back to his best. He trained with us today, albeit not at full pelt. But he was back out on the grass which was great to see and, hopefully, we can move him forward from here.

“But it will take him a while. Those were his first steps but that is why we included him in our 25-man squad because we believe he can be fit, hopefully, in a month.

“He hasn’t really done anything up to this point so, when you consider a lot of our players had a six-week pre-season, Harry is now starting afresh.”

Howe added: “He is absolutely delighted to be back. There is nothing worse for a footballer than to be injured but even worse than that is when you are injured and you don’t know why and you don’t actually know what the problem is.

“I’ve experienced that myself and it’s the most frustrating feeling ever. Touchwood, we have got to the bottom of the problem and he is on his way to recovering because that is a refreshing feeling.

“I would like to think he will be fit enough to play within a month but I don’t want to put too much more pressure on him than that.”

Meanwhile, Howe confirmed Charlie Daniels, who injured his knee against Leicester, was "touch and go" to face Norwich.