INJURED Cherries star Tommy Elphick could be facing a further four weeks on the sidelines.

Elphick has been out of action since being on the receiving end of a horror tackle from Ryan Lowe in Cherries’ 3-0 win over MK Dons on February 2.

A scan in the days after the incident dismissed initial fears of serious shin and knee problems.

However, the centre-half has been unable to return to full fitness with the leg still causing him discomfort.

Cherries have been carefully monitoring his progress and he travelled to London earlier this week to see a specialist for a second opinion.

Following that consultation, Cherries now expect the former Brighton defender to be out for between two and four weeks.

Prior to suffering the injury at stadium:mk, Elphick had played every minute of every game under the management of Eddie Howe.

An influential performer following his summer move from the Seagulls, the stand-in skipper has been forced to sit out Cherries’ past two matches.

However, the arrival of loan recruit Dan Seaborne has cushioned the blow, with the Saints man partnering Steve Cook at the heart of Cherries’ back four during the Dorset club’s climb to the top of the table.