Chris Mepham in the frame as Bournemouth start life without Eddie Howe



Posted Friday, September 11, 2020 by PA

Chris Mepham in the frame as Bournemouth start life without Eddie Howe

Chris Mepham will be pushing for a first competitive start in nine months when Bournemouth begin their Sky Bet Championship campaign by welcoming Blackburn to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

The Wales defender suffered knee ligament damage at the start of the year but after making a cameo against Newcastle in June, he underwent surgery for a second time in the summer.

Mepham returned to action in the 5-3 friendly win over West Ham last week, playing for an hour, and could take up his position in the Cherries back-line with captain Steve Cook doubtful because of an unspecified niggle.

Bournemouth, under the management of Jason Tindall after the departure of Eddie Howe, will also make a late decision on striker Sam Surridge, who has been struggling with tendinitis recently.

Blackburn will be without forward Sam Gallagher and attacking midfielder Bradley Dack.

Gallagher should be back next week following a thigh injury that has seen him miss all of Rovers’ pre-season friendlies.

Dack, meanwhile, is the only other Blackburn absentee as he is on the comeback trail after undergoing surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament at the back end of last year, but the club are wary of rushing his recovery.

Ryan Nyambe was thought to be a doubt prior to last month’s Carabao Cup victory over Doncaster but he was an unused substitute, so the defender will be pushing for some involvement this weekend.

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