DEFENDER Steve Cook is eager to keep up his recovery mission from home but admits: “Sometimes I have to battle against myself.”

The centre-back is in the midst of a rehab programme for a hamstring injury he suffered during Cherries’ final game at Liverpool before the coronavirus ‘lockdown’.

Cook was forced off after just 19 minutes at Anfield with the Dorset club a goal up through Callum Wilson’s close-range finish.

Speaking after the 2-1 defeat on March 7, boss Eddie Howe said the 29-year-old would be “struggling for a number of weeks”.

However, the break in the season has allowed the Hastings-born star to make progress without missing any action.

While Cook began his rehab work with the club’s medical team at Vitality Stadium, he was forced to continue this process at home after the government announced heightened social distancing measures in late March.

Asked about the task of plotting an injury recovery from home, Cook told the Daily Echo: “It is not ideal. Some days the motivation to do it is quite low as well but I have to do it. It is down me.

“I will only be selling myself short if I don’t do it properly and as far as I can I have got a schedule to do and targets to hit.

“The only person that is going to suffer is me, so sometimes I have to battle against myself and get it done.”

Discussing this mental battle, Cook added: “That is the challenge. It is fighting that and getting the will to do it but it is one of them.

“It is quite nice to try to have a routine as well, so my week is pretty much still planned as usual or as best it can be, just at home.

“A lot of it is over FaceTime, with the strength work and I would say field work but I am doing as much as I can in the garden.”

With the Premier League on pause, Cook and his team-mates sit 18th in the table on 27 points with just nine matches remaining.

A potential return date for top-flight football to allow Cherries to continue their battle to avoid relegation is still undecided.

However, this delay is likely to mean Cook will not miss a cluster of key matches in the run in as he first feared, if the season does resume.

“I have still got a while left,” said Cook. “I have still got several weeks of rehab left before I am back training but at the moment no one knows when the training date will be set.

“It doesn’t look like I will be missing too much football, which has worked out quite nicely for me in that way.

“It has been fine at home. It has been a little bit of a challenge coming up with different ideas to entertain the kids and mix it about with rehab. Luckily the weather has been nice.”