MANAGER Eddie Howe revealed Simon Francis had suffered “minor setbacks” on an ongoing knee problem but added: “Hopefully he will get there within the next few weeks.”

The Cherries skipper is yet to feature for the Dorset club since the Premier League’s resumption last month, due to the injury.

Francis, who signed a short-term deal to remain at Cherries for the rest of the campaign, has not featured for the club since a 3-0 defeat at Burnley in February.

But Howe insisted the skipper was progressing his work in a bid to make a return.

Asked for an update on Francis, Howe told the Daily Echo: “He’s in the same position, he’s still building himself to where he needs to be.

“He’s had a couple of days where his knee has not felt particularly great but only minor setbacks, so we anticipate that hopefully he will get there within the next few weeks.”

Francis has played 136 times for Cherries in the Premier League, only Adam Smith, Joshua King and Steve Cook have featured on more occasions.