Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe hopes to have Jermain Defoe back soon but won't put a time frame on the striker's return.

Howe cautious on Defoe

Howe cautious on Defoe

Defoe has been absent since he sustained an ankle injury in the Carabao Cup quarter final defeat to Chelsea in December.

Howe hopes the forward will be back in action soon but he won't rush the 35-year-old.

“He is running on grass and did his first football session on his own with the coaches last week. We are looking forward to seeing him return pretty quickly,” Howe told the Bournemouth Echo.

“There is no time frame as yet, we are going to need to see how he reacts to training with the team.”

Defoe recently posted on Instagram that he had received some vegan cheese from League Two side Forest Green after cutting meat out of his diet.

Howe feels Defoe's nutritional changes have helped prolong the England international's career.

He said: “The diet side of the game is massive. For any player it gets more important as you get older, with what you eat, how you live your life and what you do to your body.

“When you are younger, sometimes you can seem bulletproof and seem to get away with some of the choices you make.

“As you get older, I think it follows you even more and Jermain is fully aware of that. At this stage of his career, everything he does will have a consequence.

“He is prepared to pick the right foods for him, even if that means vegan cheese from Forest Green!

“I think it shows how much he wants to win and achieve. You don’t make those sacrifices lightly, you have to think about it and it’s all down to Jermain wanting to be the best he can be.

“That is why he is still playing at this level at the age he is. It’s not by luck. A lot of people his age would have fallen out of the game but he is still playing at the highest level.”