BOSS Eddie Howe has admitted Joshua King’s fitness is a major concern ahead of Cherries’ Premier League showdown with Huddersfield on Saturday.

King was forced to withdraw from international duty with Norway due to an ongoing back problem and has not trained with Cherries during the break.

He initially hurt his back during Cherries’ 3-2 win over West Ham at Vitality Stadium in March – a game in which he plundered a hat-trick.

And although rest and recuperation over the summer appeared to have remedied the problem, periodically it has flared up – as it has over the past 10 days.

King returned to the Cherries starting line-up at Newcastle and played the full 90 minutes following a three-match absence due to a combination of his back complaint and illness.

Asked for an update on King, Benik Afobe and Junior Stanislas, Howe confirmed King had “not trained” since the win at St James’s Park and said he was “more of a worry” than the other two frontmen.

Afobe, sidelined since suffering a muscle strain against Chelsea, is “improving” according to Howe, who added that he hoped the striker would be available for selection against the Terriers.

Howe also said a late decision would be made on Stanislas who pulled up with a groin injury midway through the second half of the 1-0 defeat by Chelsea at the end of last month.