EDDIE Howe revealed Tyrone Mings had made good progress and admitted he needed the defender to return to full fitness sooner rather than later.

Former Ipswich Town man Mings has not featured for Cherries in nearly three months due to a back problem.

The absence of the 24-year-old and fellow defenders Brad Smith and Rhoys Wiggins has left Howe’s backline options severely diminished.

But the Cherries boss is hoping that will change with a busy festive period looming large.

Mings could tomorrow feature when Cherries take on Wolves in a Premier League Cup clash at New Bucks Head (7pm), the home of AFC Telford United.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “Tyrone is getting closer. He is building up his fitness levels. His back, touch wood, seems much improved so he’s on the right lines.

“It will take him a while to build up his fitness but with the amount of games we have coming up, you don’t know what is round the corner.

"He needs to be ready as quickly as we can get him.”

Injuries have restricted the ex-Chippenham Town man to just 14 appearances since he joined Cherries in the summer of 2015.

He sustained a serious knee injury minutes into his Premier League debut against Leicester.