CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe fears Junior Stanislas could be set for another extended spell on the sidelines.

Stanislas was a casualty of Cherries’ defeat by Chelsea on Saturday, the winger forced off by a groin injury in the 62nd minute.

The 27-year-old missed the first five league games of this season after having surgery in May to cure a persistent hernia problem.

Howe is also sweating on the fitness of Benik Afobe after the striker had to be replaced 16 minutes from time against Chelsea.

Howe said: “We are not sure yet with Benik. We think he might have a muscle strain. He said it could be cramp but he had to come off.”

Asked whether the pair looked set for lengthy lay-offs, Howe replied: “Junior does for sure. It is too early to make an assessment on both but Junior's looks serious.

“It looks like a muscle pull. It happened just in front of us and he was in full flight. He said his groin had gone. I didn’t speak to him again after the game, but that was his initial reaction.”

Asked whether he felt he had adequate cover, Howe replied: “I have always believed we have good depth in our squad but to lose two quality players would be a huge blow.

“We worked hard to get Junior fit after we had really missed him in the early part of the season. He showed his quality at Stoke so it would be a really tough one to take.”