EDDIE Howe revealed Chris Mepham had an injection on a knee injury that kept him out against Manchester United and added: “We are doing everything we can to avoid him having an operation.”

The Wales international had travelled to Old Trafford with Howe’s squad on Saturday but was not deemed fit enough to take to the bench for the contest.

Giving an update on the defender ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Tottenham (6pm), Howe said: “Chris Mepham has had an injection in his knee – we are doing everything we can to avoid him having an operation.”

The Cherries boss did however have positive news on centre-back Steve Cook, who could be in contention following a hamstring problem.

“Steve Cook has improved. Whether he is fit enough to play I don’t know at this moment in time,” said Howe.

Cherries will have England frontman Callum Wilson back available following a two-match suspension, as the Dorset club look to escape the bottom three with five games of their season remaining.

Asked whether the striker was eager to come back and prove a point, Howe replied: “Callum is always very focused, very motivated, that’s one of the hallmarks of him.

“He’s a very level guy in terms of how he trains – he’s always wanting to do more.

“He’s hugely ambitious for himself and for the team. I’ve seen a Callum that has gone away and done some work on certain aspects of his game in these two games he’s missed.

“I’m expecting to see a player ready to make the difference.”

Victory over Spurs would take the Dorset club on to 30 points for the campaign.