BOSS Jonathan Woodgate confirmed striker Shane Long was back “in contention” for Cherries ahead of their play-off push.

The on-loan Saints striker had been struggling with a groin problem.

Republic of Ireland international Long was sent back to his parent club following a meeting between the two teams last week.

But having been pictured back at training with Cherries, Woodgate confirmed the 34-year-old was making good progress.

Quizzed about Long before tomorrow’s clash at Wycombe, the head coach said: “He is back in contention. He hasn’t done much training, so I will have to be wary of minutes etcetera.

“He is looking okay and is back in.

“The only ones who are out at the minute is Lloyd Kelly and Lewis Cook.”

Full-back Kelly was set to miss two weeks with an ankle injury, picked up during Cherries’ 4-1 win at Millwall, but could be back in contention for next week’s home clash with Stoke City.

Cherries are set to battle the Chairboys and the Potters ahead of their play-off fixtures, where they will meet either Brentford, Barnsley or Swansea in the semi-final.

Quizzed on whether he would rotate his side for the final two regular league contests, Woodgate replied: “I’ll maybe make a few changes here and there. I’ll assess the players and name the team accordingly.

“It’s a fine balance of keeping players fresh and getting players who need minutes, so they are firing on all cylinders when we go in the play-offs, because you never know what you are going to need.”