AFC Bournemouth's veteran striker Jermain Defoe sustained an ankle injury during Wednesday night's clash with Chelsea in the Carabao Cup, and could be out for up to 10 weeks.
According to the Club's official website, the forward received his injury from a tackle in the early minutes of the first half at Stamford Bridge, where he was replaced and sent for medical assessment.
The Englishman was subsequently sent to a specialist on Friday, where the full extent of the injury was revealed. After initial concerns of ligament damage, the club confirmed it was in fact a fracture on the right ankle, which will still keep him sidelined for at least eight to ten weeks.
After a difficult start to life back with the Cherries, Defoe had just started to find his feet again on the south coast, with two important goals against Crystal Palace on the 9th of December.
With only 15 goals in their 19 Premier League games thus far, it is no doubt Defoe's presence up front will be greatly missed, especially at such a critical and clustered period of the season.
However, the 35-year-old himself will of course be the greatest loser from this situation, particularly considering the upcoming World Cup in Russia next summer, and the limited opportunities to impress manager Gareth Southgate between now and then.
Eddie Howe Rues Man City Loss as Bournemouth Head Into 'Important' Period https://t.co/LBH9RdOBDW— Bournemouth Pro (@BournemouthPro) December 24, 2017
While his hopes are not completely dashed, should he remain absent for the estimated ten weeks, he would come back in late February or early March. This leaves just a few weeks to make his mark before the all important international friendlies with the Netherlands and Italy on the 23rd and 27th of March respectively.
Meanwhile, following their convincing defeat to Manchester City on Saturday, Bournemouth currently sit in the relegation zone, with one point separating them in 18th place, and David Moyes' somewhat resurgent West Ham side in 17th.
The two will square off on Boxing day at the Vitality Stadium, in a genuine six pointer in the battle for Premier League survival.