SCOTT Parker revealed Adam Smith is "back on the grass" as the defender closes in on a return to first-team action.

However, Lloyd Kelly remains a big doubt for Saturday's visit of Coventry City.

Kelly had played every minute this season for Cherries in the Championship, captaining the side, before missing the past two games with a quad injury.

Cherries have picked up just one point in that time, losing at Derby County before drawing 1-1 at Millwall last night.

He is one of a group of players currently unavailable to Parker, with Jordan Zemura, Ben Pearson, Junior Stanislas, Robbie Brady and Smith all missing the trip to The Den due to injury. Philip Billing was also suspended, while David Brooks continues to undergo treatment following his cancer diagnosis last month.

Stalwart Gary Cahill could now also join that list. While the former Chelsea defender played the full 90 minutes against Millwall, he suffered a heavy whack after racing back to deny Benik Afobe early in the second half.

Asked if Cahill is okay following that collision, boss Parker said: "Hopefully yeah. We don’t know whether he was winded or whether he’s actually got a bit of a rib injury, so we’ll have to see."

Discussing the rest of his absentees from The Den, Parker added: "Adam Smith is back on the grass, Junior Stanislas is not, Lloyd Kelly, Ben Pearson, they’re progressing in the right way.

"I think still maybe the weekend is probably going to be a bit too early for them."

Smith has missed the past eight matches due to a knee injury, not featuring since a win over Sheffield United on October 2.

Fifth-placed Coventry head to Vitality Stadium on Saturday (3pm).