SIMON Francis insisted fellow injury victim Lewis Cook had been an “inspiration” throughout his rehab.

The pair are on the comeback trail after both rupturing the anterior cruciate ligaments in their right knees during December.

Cook and Francis have been part of Eddie Howe’s squad during their 12-day Spanish training camp.

And although they are not yet expected to feature in match action, 34-year-old Francis admitted he had been driven on by the England international’s desire to return.

“I see Lewis Cook flying day in, day out and he is looking really good and fit,” said the Cherries skipper.

“That is my inspiration and motivation to get back fit as well, because I almost don’t want to let him down.

“On the reversal, I know he has been looking at me and thinking ‘Franno has been leading by example’.

“We are definitely spurring each other on. It’s had a real influence on both of our rehabs, we have almost been together every single day, apart from in the summer when we have been away.

“It’s tough of course but having someone working alongside you on the same path makes it that little bit easier and is the motivation we need.”