CHRIS Mepham described as “frustrating” the calf injury that has kept him out over the Christmas period – as he gets set to step up his workload.

The Wales international felt the problem during a goalless draw at Swansea earlier this month – and has missed Cherries’ past three games as a result.

The defender, who also had to undergo two knee operations during 2020, told the Daily Echo: “It’s just a frustrating injury.

“It’s nice when you get in a rhythm of playing week in, week out and the games come thick and fast. My body reacted really well to it, a lot better than I thought it would, but I think it’s probably just a way of my body saying you’ve gone through a lot.

“It’s only in the scheme of things a small setback but it’s still frustrating not to be able to be out there with the rest of the lads on the pitch.”

Asked how the injury came about, Mepham replied: “I felt it quite early on in the Swansea game really.

“I think at half-time they assessed it and they felt like it was good enough to carry on and I felt within myself that it was good enough to carry on and see how it is in the second half.

“To be fair in the second half it did feel like it was sort of easing off and it wasn’t until the following morning I woke up and felt like there was something a bit worse than I thought initially it was.

“Then I went for a scan and found out that I’ve got, not a significant, but a decent enough strain and it’s one that I needed to take a few weeks off and make sure it’s ready before coming back.”

Giving an update on the centre-half’s progress, manager Jason Tindall said: “Meps is just starting to go outside now on the training pitches with the physios and, within the next sort of week, his programme will intensify a little bit.

“We will start to push him a little bit harder and hoping to have him back within the next two to three weeks.”