Injuries mount as Bournemouth gear up for Tottenham test
REUTERS - It was a difficult international break for Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe after three players returned to the club with injuries ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Wembley to take on Tottenham Hotspur.
Australian defender Brad Smith is sidelined with a hip problem and will miss the match, while both midfielder Ryan Fraser and forward Joshua King picked up hamstring injuries.
"It was a difficult break for us because we seemed to pick up a lot of injuries," Howe told a news conference on Friday.
"Brad Smith looks like he has a nasty injury, we don't know the full extent of that but he could be out for a period of time. He has a hip problem.
"Ryan Fraser has a hamstring and we don't know how serious that is. We don't think it's a long-term one. And Josh King is similar, we'll make a late decision on him this weekend."
Tottenham are third in the table with 14 points but have not played in the league at their adopted home since the middle of September, when they were held to a 0-0 draw by struggling Swansea City.
With Harry Kane firing on all cylinders -- the England striker has already scored 15 times for club and country -- Howe is hoping his side can find a way to contain the prolific 24-year-old as well as his Danish team mate Christian Eriksen.
"I think Harry Kane is an outstanding player," Howe said. "His finishing has been excellent but it's a team effort too. Eriksen is one of a number of players key to Tottenham's style of play so we've got to try and keep them quiet."
Bournemouth are second bottom of the league after a torrid start to the season in which they have lost five of their seven league games.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)