CHERRIES striker Wes Thomas could be set to keep his place after Eddie Howe revealed injury concerns over leading goalscorer Lewis Grabban.

Boss Howe admitted he had been impressed by Thomas after handing the frontman his first Cherries start since August against Wigan.

Grabban was yesterday set to have a scan on the knee problem he sustained in Tuesday’s FA Cup clash.

And with doubts over the marksman’s fitness ahead of the League One trip to Walsall tomorrow (3pm), Thomas could get another chance to shine.

Thomas was deployed in a lone striking role as Cherries suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Premier League outfit Wigan in the third round replay.

The frontman, who is back at Dean Court following a loan spell at Blackpool, is understood to be attracting the attention of Championship clubs.

Burnley, Birmingham City, Huddersfield, Derby and Watford have all been linked with potential moves for the ex-Crawley Town man, although Cherries are not believed to have received any bids.

Speaking after watching Thomas against Wigan, Cherries manager Howe said: “I thought Wes did really well. It was a very difficult task and he got through an incredible amount of work up there.

“He showed good ability and held up the ball for us, so I thought he could be pleased with his performance.”

Howe confirmed that Cherries also have injury doubts over winger Josh McQuoid and midfielder Eunan O’Kane. O’Kane sustained a bruised foot against Wigan and McQuoid is nursing a tight calf.

Saddlers: (from) McLoughlin, Purkiss, Butler, Downing, Taylor, Mantom, A Chambers, Paterson, Baxendale, Brandy, Grigg, Hemmings, J Chambers, Bowerman, Benning, Featherstone, Holden, Grof.

Cherries: (from) Jalal, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, McQuoid, Hughes, Arter, O’Kane, Grabban, Thomas, Fogden, Pugh, Pitman, Tubbs, McDermott, Partington, Fletcher, Demouge, James.