CHERRIES are sweating on the fitness of Ryan Fraser after the winger sustained a knee injury during their pre-season friendly at Dorchester on Saturday.
Fraser, who has looked sharp during Cherries’ warm-up campaign, was substituted midway through the first half after taking a couple of heavy blows.
The 20-year-old departed the Avenue Stadium with his left knee strapped and in a brace and is due to be assessed by the club’s medical staff early this week.
Fraser, often on the receiving end of some hefty challenges during his first full season in the Championship, helped Cherries on their way to an 11-0 win over the Magpies.
Boss Eddie Howe told the Daily Echo: “It is a concern because we think it is his medial ligament. He took two whacks to the same area. We are hopeful it will be nothing more than a week to 10 days but will have to wait and see. With knee injuries, you always have to be protective.
“It is part and parcel when you consider his size and speed and he is going to take knocks. Thankfully, he was able to withstand them last season and it was just unfortunate that he came off on the wrong end of one.
“We hope to see him fit and continuing to develop. I think there has been a big improvement physically in Ryan since the end of last season so, hopefully, that will continue.
“It was a shame we lost him because he was looking in very good form and it was good to see him create so many chances, not just for himself but for the team as well.”
Howe, meanwhile, said he anticipated a playing return for goalkeeper Lee Camp when Cherries host Southampton in their first friendly at Dean Court on Friday.
Camp has sat out the first three warm-up games as a precaution due to a minor thigh injury with Benji Buchel shouldering the majority of the goalkeeping duties.
Howe said: “Lee has had two scans on his thigh and both have come back clear. The reason we had two was because one wasn’t of sufficient quality to read properly.
“He is back working with Neil Moss but as he is behind the other goalkeepers in pre-season training, we don’t want to rush him back too soon. Hopefully, we will see him in the first home friendly.”
Striker Tokelo Rantie, who also missed the Dorchester clash, is this week set to have a precautionary scan on his groin after complaining of tightness, while skipper Tommy Elphick was rested against the Magpies.