BOSS Eddie Howe believes midfielder Lewis Cook is “getting closer all the time” to a return to match action – but will not feature against Manchester City on Sunday.

Cook returned to training this week after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Huddersfield in December.

And the Cherries boss was delighted to have the England international back in the fold.

Asked about Cook ahead of the clash with the defending Premier League champions, Howe said: “He won’t be ready for this game but he’s getting closer all the time.

“He trained with us for the first time fully a couple of days ago.

“It will be a big boost for us when we get him fully fit. He would need more training sessions and of course a couple of games but hopefully he is getting closer.”

The likes of Simon Francis, Junior Stanislas, David Brooks and Arnaut Danjuma have still not featured competitively for the club this season.

Commenting further on the club's injury situation, Howe added: “We are still trying to nurse players back, without putting too much pressure on them, to boost the squad.

“We still feel we have as many plans as we need. Players have been adaptable, we have versatile players in the squad – that definitely helps.

“But I think the key thing from this point onwards is we can’t suffer too many injuries because, if we do, then we are going to be really stretched.”