CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe revealed Callum Wilson had made good progress in his bid to recover from long-term injury – but admitted the striker still had some “big hurdles” to overcome.

Wilson was rocked when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a training session at Vitality Stadium at the start of February.

It came just 15 months after the frontman had sustained the same injury to his right knee, forcing him to miss the majority of Cherries’ debut season in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old spent almost seven months on the sidelines in 2015-16 and had netted six goals in 21 appearances before lightning struck for a second time last season.

Wilson joined his team-mates during their pre-season training camp in southern Spain where he worked on his fitness under the watchful eye of the club’s medical staff.

And although he took part in various team-bonding activities organised during the trip to Marbella, he did not train with the rest of Howe’s squad.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo, Howe said: “Callum is making good progress but is nowhere near training with the rest of the group yet.

“He is still training on his own but it was really beneficial for him, psychologically, to come away on the trip.

“He was with the other players and joined in with all the activities we did. He got to spend some quality time with the boys and really felt like he was part of the team again, which can sometimes be difficult when you are injured long term.

“It was great to spend some time with him while we were away and to see him so bright and bubbly.

“In terms of his training, he has progressed to working on the grass and is kicking a ball again. They are great signs for him and us so he is definitely moving in the right direction.”

Asked whether there was an anticipated time frame for Wilson’s return, Howe replied: “No, there isn’t at this stage.

“When you consider what Callum has been through in terms of the first and second injuries he suffered, as you would understand, we are very reluctant to put any pressure on him.

“It will be when he feels his knee is right and the decision will be made when Callum and our medical team believe he is ready.

“But even when he is back training with us, there will still be a long period where he has to regain his confidence and rebuild his form.

“He still has some big hurdles to come but he is certainly moving in the right direction and it is great to see.”

Howe also confirmed Rhoys Wiggins still had some way to go with his recovery from a serious knee injury sustained during a loan spell with Birmingham last season.