Saturday 20 July 2019

Asmir Begovic misses international break to recover from knee injury

Begovic arrived from Chelsea last summer after spending two seasons at Stamford Bridge.

Asmir Begovic
Asmir Begovic

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has been ruled out of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s friendlies against Bulgaria and Senegal due to a long-standing knee problem.

The 30-year-old has been playing through the pain barrier for Eddie Howe’s Cherries and will use the international break to recover from the injury.

Former Chelsea keeper Begovic has been ever-present in the Premier League during his first season on the south coast, including Saturday’s 2-1 victory over bottom club West Brom.

“Asmir has been ruled out with a long-standing problem he’s had with his knee. He’s been playing through so he’s going to stay here and get some rest,” said manager Howe after the weekend win over the Baggies.

“It’s been very important to try and keep him fit, I think he’s a big player for us.

“He wants to stay in the team and he wants to keep playing so he’s prepared to put his body through a little bit of pain to get there for us.

“But this rest, I think, will do him the world of good.”

Bosnia, managed by former Croatia international Robert Prosinecki, have not qualified for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

They face Bulgaria on Friday, ahead of a meeting with Senegal next Tuesday.

Howe added: “He injured his knee in training. We thought it was, at the time when he did it, maybe a serious problem but thankfully he’s had a period where he’s had a little bit of rest and then he’s played through it.

“I don’t think he’s been 100 per cent fit in the games but his will has got him through.”

Howe also confirmed that midfielder Harry Arter will be unavailable for the Republic of Ireland due to a calf injury, while winger Ryan Fraser will remain with the Scotland squad, despite a back problem which has caused him to be an unused substitute in Bournemouth’s last three games.

Scotland, under new manager Alex McLeish, face a friendly against Costa Rica in Glasgow on Friday before travelling to Budapest to take on Hungary.

Speaking about Fraser, Howe said: “He goes with Scotland but he goes with Scotland with a word of caution because he has a back problem, hence why he didn’t come on on Saturday.

“At this stage of the season, we can’t afford to rest him for a long period of time, but he’s not been 100 per cent fit.”

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