- Callum Wilson made his return to action for Bournemouth’s U21s this month
- The striker suffered a second serious knee injury in 15 months back in January
- Eddie Howe admits it will take Wilson time to adjust to the Premier League
- The Cherries, who are second bottom, travel to face Stoke City on Saturday
Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson will be given plenty of time to rediscover his form and fitness before he returns to Premier League action, according to manager Eddie Howe.
Following a second serious knee injury in 15 months, Wilson made his comeback in the reserve side’s Premier League Cup match against Norwich City this month.
He scored twice for the Under 21s in a 3-2 defeat by Cheltenham Town last week but Howe said the 25-year-old was still some way off from being ready for a top-flight game.
Callum Wilson has made his return from eight months out in Bournemouth’s Under-21s match
Wilson suffered his first rupture of anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee two years ago
WILSON INJURY TIMELINE
September 29, 2015 – Wilson ruptures anterior cruciate ligament in right knee in defeat by Stoke
April 9, 2016 – Striker makes first Premier League appearance as a late substitute in win over Aston Villa
January 31, 2017 – Wilson scores six goals in 20 league games before rupturing anterior cruciate ligament in left knee
October 4, 2017 – Wilson makes second return from lengthy absence in Under-21s match against Norwich
‘He is closer than he has been because he has had those two games under his belt but with the length of time he has been out, Callum has to get his fitness levels adjusted to the Premier League,’ Howe told The Daily Echo.
‘You can’t build your form and rhythm in the games, you have to do that before the games to be at your best during the action because in this league, you cannot have someone who is not 100 per cent fit.’
Bournemouth have struggled in front of goal this season, scoring four times in eight league games.
‘When you lose a player of that quality, you certainly feel it at the time. But when they come back it is like having a new signing,’ Howe said.
‘There is real competition in the attacking area, an area you need that quality and Callum will sit nicely among those players.’
Bournemouth, who sit second-bottom in the league, visit Stoke City on Saturday.
The 25-year-old now believes he has completed all the various tests to strengthen his knees