CHERRIES have been dealt a huge injury blow with the news that Chris Mepham is set to miss up to 12 weeks with a knee problem.

The Wales international, who has played every minute of Cherries' past eight fixtures, suffered the problem during last weekend's 4-0 FA Cup win over Luton Town.

But he is now set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines, just as Eddie Howe's men embark on a vital run of fixtures.



Mepham has this afternoon taken to Twitter to confirm he is due to undergo surgery tomorrow.

Cherries host Watford on Sunday (2pm), with both sides sitting in the Premier League relegation zone.

Centre-back Mepham also looks set to miss key games against Norwich, Brighton and Aston Villa in Cherries' battle against the drop.

Nathan Ake has not featured since December 7 due to a hamstring injury, while Steve Cook and Simon Francis have also suffered knocks in recent weeks.

Discussing team news earlier today, Howe said: “We are getting there on some and have a couple of problems with others.

“The long-term absentees won’t really change for this weekend.

“But there are a couple who are getting very close now. They would make a big difference, so we will wait and see.

“I’ve still got a couple of late calls to make this weekend.

Quizzed on which players he was waiting on, Howe replied: “We will wait and see. When you get the get the team sheet I’ll let you know!

“We’ve trained this week, had small numbers. I am going to make a late call on a couple of players.”