During his press conference this morning, Eddie Howe has been discussing Alexander Isak’s fitness ahead of a busy run of festive fixtures.
The good news is that our club record signing is back in training and “doing well”, but it looks like we won’t see him again until the New Year.
Howe revealed that the Swede looks set to miss upcoming games against Leicester City (Boxing Day) and Leeds (31st December), meaning we’re unlikely to see the striker until our trip to Arsenal on January 3rd.
However, the boss believes it’s vital we don’t throw him back into the action until he is “fully ready”, believing this gives him the best chance of playing a “big part” in what promises to be a busy January for the club.
Here’s what Howe had to say on all of the above this morning, also discussing the pros and cons of his absence:
Howe on Isak’s fitness:
“He’s doing well. We’re pleased with him.
“Is he going to make the next couple of Premier League games? Probably not.
“He’s going in the right direction and we hope in the busy January period he can play a big part in that.
“We just have to make sure that when he steps onto the pitch he is fully ready.”
Howe on a ‘very difficult’ period for the injured Isak:
“It’s been very difficult (for Isak) without being in his head myself.
“I’ve had a feeling of that before as a player – feelings of guilt, letting people down, your body not doing what you want it to.
“You want to prove yourself and he’s not been able to do that.”
Howe on the benefits of Isak’s spell away from the spotlight:
“When you’re away from the spotlight, you can get to know the club, your team-mates and you can begin to feel at home so when you do step back on the pitch, you’re more comfortable in your surroundings.
“We have to hope he comes back and makes a real difference.”