Cherries: Jalal set for early return

22 December 2010 07:00
STAR stopper Shwan Jalal could be ready to hand Cherries boss Eddie Howe a timely festive boost by hitting the comeback trail earlier than anticipated.[LNB] Jalal was expected to be sidelined until the start of next year after fracturing his eye socket during Cherries' 2-2 draw at Leyton Orient last month.[LNB] The 27-year-old, who sustained the sickening injury when he collided with team-mate Marvin Bartley, went under the knife to repair the damage.[LNB] But although he was initially set to be ruled out for between six to eight weeks, Jalal has |confounded the medics by returning in little more than a month.[LNB] Jalal has spent the past few days being put through his paces by Cherries goalkeeping coach Neil Moss and returned |to full training earlier this |week.[LNB] In his absence, Jon Stewart, 22, has performed admirably despite being restricted by the recent cold snap to just three league and FA Cup appearances.[LNB] Speaking to the Daily Echo last night, Cherries boss Howe said: Shwan has made good progress.[LNB] He has been training on a non-contact basis so far and doing a lot of handling and kicking work with Mossy.[LNB] He hasn't joined in a session properly yet but is very close. We hope to have him joining in fully some time this week.[LNB] Depending on how he feels, he could be available for the festive period.[LNB] But it was a nasty injury so we would have to make sure he had fully recovered before he was ready to return to the first team.[LNB] Howe added: Shwan would have to prove his fitness first. I think Jon has done very well in the three games he has had and I have been really pleased with the progress he has made.[LNB] I think Jon has stood up really well to the test. I'm really pleased with him and it would be great to have Shwan back as well.[LNB] Hopefully, it will be good news on both fronts.[LNB] ¢ Cherries' League One fixture at Bristol Rovers has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 22 (7.45pm).[LNB] The League One clash was postponed on December 4 due to a frozen pitch and Cherries will now visit the Memorial Stadium in midweek.[LNB]

Source: Bournemouth_Echo