CHERRIES star Charlie Daniels faces an anxious wait to discover whether his season may have come to a premature end.
Daniels has missed Cherries’ past three games due to a persistent foot problem and will again sit out when Eddie Howe’s men meet League One rivals Crewe at Gresty Road tonight.
The 25-year-old, a key performer in Cherries’ revival under Howe, had been playing through the pain barrier since taking a heavy blow to his right foot during the FA Cup clash at Wigan last month.
Although Daniels managed to start Cherries’ next four games, including the cup replay against the Latics, he was eventually taken out of the firing line for the visit of Crewe to Dean Court 17 days ago.
And while an initial scan revealed the Londoner had not sustained any serious damage, Daniels has continued to feel discomfort and has been unable to hit the comeback trail.
As a result, Daniels was referred to a specialist for a second opinion and had a consultation and thorough examination earlier today.
He was told to rest for another fortnight to see whether the damage would heal – with an operation the likeliest course of action should there be no sign of improvement.
And should Daniels be forced to go under the knife later this month to cure the problem, it would almost certainly rule him out for the rest of the season.
News of Daniels’s predicament will come as a major blow to Cherries, with boss Howe likely to immediately step up his search for a loan left-back rather than wait a fortnight to see if Daniels recovers.
Cherries’ resources for tonight’s clash against Crewe have been further depleted with both defender Tommy Elphick and winger Marc Pugh unavailable.
Despite having intensive treatment to a knee injury and training yesterday with Howe’s squad, Elphick was deemed not fit enough to travel to south Cheshire.
And while Howe was keen to give Pugh until the last minute to recover from a bout of flu, he was confined to his sick bed and also did not make the trip north.