CHARLIE Daniels heaped praise on everyone at Cherries for their support during his latest injury comeback and admitted: “I’m just fortunate I’m in the era that I am.”

The full-back endured a nightmare 2019, suffering two serious knee injuries in the space of five months.

Having looked set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after dislocating the patella in his left knee in April, Daniels returned sooner than thought to play a part in pre-season before making his competitive Cherries return at Villa Park in August, where he played the full 90 minutes.

However, disaster struck again the following week, dislocating the patella in his right knee whilst swinging in a cross during the defeat to Manchester City at Vitality Stadium. Following surgery, he has not featured since.

But the 33-year-old has stepped up his rehab in recent weeks. Having initially spent eight weeks in a brace, attached to a machine which would bend and straighten his leg, Daniels has now begun returning to some running drills on an anti-gravity treadmill to strengthen his knee.

While many players return stronger than before from knee injuries in the modern era, boss Eddie Howe’s playing career was hampered due to a similar injury Daniels is currently battling back from, before he eventually hung up his boots for good aged 29 in 2007.

And the former Tottenham youngster feels grateful to be able to take advantage of modern technologies, something Howe did not have the option of during his own knee issues. Asked how helpful Howe has been during his rehab, Daniels told the Daily Echo: “He’s very knowledgeable about what happened because obviously he went through it himself.

“Luckily for me I think the advancement of the surgery and stuff like that I think has really helped because I don’t think he had the same sort of stuff around him that could actually get him back to playing to the way that he wanted to.

“So for me, I’m just fortunate I’m in the era that I am in and I can get back and play.”

Howe is not the only one Daniels can turn to for support in how to cope with long-term setbacks. Team-mate Callum Wilson has twice suffered serious knee injuries during his time at Cherries, while the likes of Lewis Cook and Simon Francis spent around nine months out after rupturing their anterior cruciate ligaments.

“Not just Cal but everyone’s been really supportive,” said Daniels.

“You’ve got Franno and Lewis last year, out for a long time. Junior (Stanislas) was out for a long time. They and all the lads have been really supportive. I can’t fault anyone.”

Daniels and Francis have both been at Cherries together since joining the club within weeks of each other in November 2011, playing a key role in the rise up from League One.

Francis admitted there were doubters he could return to the top level after rupturing his ACL last season, but he has returned to feature 18 times for Cherries this term.

Asked if the captain’s comeback has been inspiring to see, Daniels said: “Yeah of course it is. It’s nice, especially when it’s someone like Franno.

“People would’ve cast him aside really, doing an ACL at 34, but it’s just testament to him as a person and the club and the physios and the way that we operate that we get him back match fit and the way he’s performing now.”