WHILE Cherries are going through an obvious period of uncertainty at present – spare a thought for one man who was unable to control his own destiny at the end of the Championship campaign.

Midfielder Lewis Cook ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee for the second time back in March.

The serious injury, sustained in a 1-1 draw with Preston, cost him another prolonged spell out of his promising career.

As well as physically having to go through rehab once again, add to that the mental anguish and the issue would cause – let alone when you had been battling to take your career back to the highest level.

AFC Bournemouths Lewis Cook receives treatment during the Sky Bet Championship match at Deepdale, Preston. Picture date: Saturday March 6, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Preston. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire...RESTRICTIONS:

 

While his team-mates were on the pitch trying to deliver Premier League football back to Vitality Stadium, Cook was forced to watch as Jonathan Woodgate’s side were beaten 3-2 over two legs by Brentford in the play-off semi-final.

Speaking ahead of the first leg against the Bees at Vitality Stadium last month, Cook told Sky Sports: “Obviously, it’s tough missing games in general but it’s a massive game.

“It’s a game that as a player you want to be involved in – to try to create history for your club and for yourself.”

And while the outcome of that contest was out of his control, one thing the England international can do is manage his comeback.

While a lot of footballers across the globe are now taking a well-earned rest – just like one of his midfield displays, there will be no let-up for the tenacious 24-year-old.

Cook has regularly been posting progress updates via his official Instagram feed of him getting back to work in Cherries’ gym. One of which aptly included a quote on the wall saying: “Fitness is our foundation.”

The Cherries star has also made use of virtual reality to fuel his comeback mission.

 

Putting on a headset, the midfielder was filmed playing passes virtually to help mentally get a feel for kicking a ball again.

“It’s great and Lewis has been in every single day,” said head coach Woodgate last month.

“He hasn’t missed a day. Normally after the operation you have a few days, maybe a week.

“He has been in every day. He’s hardly lost any muscle definition in his quads, he’s flying at the minute.

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“I don’t want to put any pressure on him. He’s still got a lot time to go but the foundations are built and that’s the most important thing.

“The physios have done an excellent job with him up to now. Let’s still be patient but his mentality and attitude has been absolutely first-class.”

AFC Bournemouth v Southampton at Vitality Stadium in the quarter final of the FA Cup on 20th March 2021. Lewis Cook on crutches.

 

While the club face a lot of unknowns at present, one thing is for sure, Cook is doing all he can to showcase his class for his return.