David Brooks could yet play for Wales at the World Cup says Bournemouth boss after cancer all-clear
Bournemouth boss Scott Parker is eager not to put any timescale on David Brooks’ recovery but refused to rule out the Wales international from making the World Cup this winter.
Attacker Brooks signed a new four-year deal with the Cherries on Monday and reiterated his desire to get back playing football again.
The 25-year-old was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin lymphoma in October but has completed his treatment and received the all-clear at the end of last season. He is yet to make a competitive appearance since his recovery from cancer but has built up his fitness via a modified programme in recent weeks.
Asked if Brooks should be ruled out of World Cup contention, Parker told reporters: “No, no definitely not. He is heading certainly in the right direction.
“I am always very wary around Brooksy and giving a real defined date on exactly when he may be coming back but certainly he is heading in the right direction.
“He has done the most amount of work now over the last 10 days and come through that very well.
“I would like to think in the coming weeks we will be in a position where we can see him in matchday squads and be at a level of fitness that we feel is adequate enough to go and operate in the Premier League.”
Brooks will again watch on from afar on Saturday when Bournemouth tackle Liverpool at Anfield but the winger is chomping at the bit to return to top-flight action.
He starred during his debut campaign in the Premier League, after he signed for the Cherries from Sheffield United in 2018, and netted on seven occasions before an ankle injury restricted his involvement in the following season, which saw the south coast club relegated.
Parker guided Bournemouth to promotion in May and knows the experience of Brooks could be vital.
“Extremely excited to see him back, because we missed him,” the 41-year-old added.
“He is a massive player and his quality we missed last year with the situation he was in. First and foremost, absolutely delighted to have him back in terms of general health and him getting over what he did. He has progressed very well.
“It has been slow and we’ve had to tread pretty carefully but probably over the last couple of weeks we have pushed on that work and he’s come through that work well.
“We’re getting closer to a point where hopefully he can be in a position to come and join the team. A player of Brooksy’s quality and his Premier League experience, it will only help.
“It has been a long road for him and he has missed football. At the start football was probably irrelevant and it was more the fact of life and getting through the cancer he had, which he has.
“Now he is someone who can’t wait to get out there and is constantly on me asking when can he train and when can he train fully, but we’re having to tread carefully.”
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