Bournemouth have confirmed captain Simon Francis is facing up to nine months on the sidelines with a cruciate ligament injury.
The 33-year-old defender ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 5-0 Premier League defeat by Tottenham at Wembley on Boxing Day.
He was carried from the field on a stretcher and after being assessed by the Cherries’ medical staff, underwent a scan in London on Wednesday evening which revealed the extent of the damage.
Manager Eddie Howe told the club’s official website, www.afcb.co.uk: “We are devastated to have lost Simon to a serious knee injury.
“It is a huge blow for us to lose our captain and someone who has performed so well and consistently for the team over a long period of time.
“There is a long road ahead, but Simon is a model professional who has a positive mindset and is surrounded by good people. I know he will leave no stone unturned in order to get back as soon as possible.
“He will receive the best possible medical care, as well as the love and support of everyone at the club.”
Nottingham-born Francis joined Bournemouth from Charlton in July 2012 after a successful loan spell and has made more than 300 appearances for the club.