Howe: Ward is a valued member of the squad
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has praised central defender Elliott Ward for his professionalism as he battled to return to fitness following a knee operation.
Ward injured his knee in February after clashing with an advertising hoarding against Leicester City.
He returned to action after a brief spell on the sidelines, but underwent surgery in May.
Ward missed the entire pre-season campaign following the operation and didn't feature in any of the arranged pre-season friendlies.
But despite missing out on pre-season, he was still named on the bench for the Championship opener at Huddersfield and played a full 90 minutes against Exeter City in the League Cup in midweek.
Howe told the Daily Echo...
"Elliott worked very hard to get fit. His aim was to be available for the bench for the first game at Huddersfield and he achieved that with a lot of hard work.
"With no games and no major training sessions behind him, he played 90 minutes at Exeter and looked so accomplished. It was testament to his professionalism.
"It shows he looks after himself. He is a very good professional behind the scenes. He eats the right things and looks after his body. He is very experienced and that is why he is such a valued member of the squad."
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