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Howe backs Wilshere to bounce back from latest injury setback

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has no doubts Jack Wilshere can recover from his latest injury setback.

The midfielder is on a season loan with the Cherries, but will play no more part in this campaign after suffering a fractured leg during last weekend's away defeat at Tottenham.

It is the latest injury problem for the 25-year-old to overcome which have limited his progress for both club and country.

Howe, though, believes Wilshere, who made 27 league appearances for Bournemouth, has what it takes to overcome another hurdle on his footballing journey.

"He is naturally down and dissapointed he is going to miss the rest of the season, but he is a positive guy and will come back from this, I have no doubt," Howe said.

"His loan spell for us has been hugely beneficial, and hopefully Jack would feel the same way.

"I am not going to speak for him, but thoughts are that he made a huge contribution for us on the pitch and also off the pitch, which obviously no one else will see."

Howe was pressed on whether he would like to see Wilshere back at the club again next season, but remained coy.

"I dont want to disrespect Arsenal in any way, because he is there player and we are very grateful for the loan," he said at a press conference.

"I have spoken many times about my thoughts on the player, for the person - we love him to bits, but the future is unknown and obviously he is an Arsenal player now."

Asked if the price tag for a permanent move for the midfielder, who still has one more season to run on his current contract with the Gunners, would rule Bournemouth out of contention, Howe replied: " All I would say in football is, lets wait and see."

Wherever Wilshere continues his career, Howe is in no doubt the combative midfielder has a bright future.

"I think it is still there for Jack, you have to remember how young a player he is, he still has a lot of football ahead of him," Howe said.

"Obviously any injury to any player can make it more difficult to reach your full potential, there is no denying that, but I have seen Jack steadily improve week by week since he has been with us.

"(It has been) physically really, being able to play 90 minutes and get that run of games under his belt that he needed.

"This, I think, is a minor setback in what has been a really encouraging season."

Bournemouth will look to push themselves closer to another campaign in the top flight when they host second-bottom Middlesbrough.

Howe is expecting a response following successive defeats by title-chasers Chelsea and Tottenham.

"I am not going to say that one win will make us safe, but we are very motivated to win this game," Howe said.

"We were on a really good run before playing the top two. We knew how hard this run was going to be, but we have come out mainly unscathed after it.

"Both teams are desperate to win, it should make it a really good spectacle, but hopefully one we can excel in."

Tributes will be paid at the Vitality Stadium to former Middlesbrough defender Ugo Ehiogu, who died after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham's training centre where he was under-23s coach.

There will be a minute's applause before kick-off, with the players from both teams set to wear black armbands.

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