Cherries: Pilates helps Symes close in on a return
KEY man Michael Symes has set his sights on handing Cherries a major fitness boost with the help of Pilates. The influential frontman has been sidelined since a groin injury forced him off in the first half of Cherries' defeat at Exeter City on March 8. His absence has coincided with a run of three consecutive defeats at the hands of the Grecians, Southampton and Carlisle, with boss Lee Bradbury short of experienced strikers. But Symes revealed he was close to a return after turning to the familiar Pilates method in his bid to keep fit. The technique worked wonders for the striker in the past after it was recommended to him during his time at Shrewsbury. Symes has found a new instructor in Meyrick Park and is hoping to regain full fitness and steer clear of further problems by utilising Pilates, which aims to improve strength, flexibility and agility through low impact stretching and conditioning exercises. The former Accrington Stanley forward told the Echo: I have started Pilates, on and off, in the past couple of weeks, and I can feel the benefits. In the past couple of seasons, I had done it twice a week and I had none of these stupid little injuries like tears or pulls. When I came down here I got the shoulder injury, which stopped me doing most of the exercises. I feel that has had an effect on the reasons as to why I have had some of the injuries I have. Hopefully, the Pilates will stop me getting injuries. Symes, who suffered a similar groin problem during pre-season, has been restricted to 16 starts since moving south in the summer. But when on the field, he has been an important player, with eight league goals to his name. He is eager to get out of the treatment room and boost Cherries' promotion push. Symes added: It is getting there and hopefully, touch wood, I will be okay for Saturday. This is the most important part of the season and the past 10 days have been a bit of a nightmare, so I just want to get back as soon as I can and try to help the team get back to winning ways. Hopefully, it is just a little bit of a blip and we can get back on track on Saturday and go on another good unbeaten run and climb the table.
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