JUNIOR Stanislas is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a significant hamstring injury, the Daily Echo understands.

He could miss up to 12 weeks of action for Cherries.

The 32-year-old has been dogged by injuries all season, playing just 202 minutes across eight appearances since signing a fresh two-year deal with Cherries in the summer.

The midfielder missed a big chunk of games earlier this season due to a hamstring injury, before returning to make two substitute appearances in October.

Stanislas then suffered a recurrence of the problem, forcing him out for a further eight matches.

He came back into contention for the trip to Middlesbrough on December 18, coming off the bench.

The former Burnley man then made just his second start of the campaign against QPR on December 27, providing an assist in the 1-0 victory.

A shoulder problem saw Stanislas forced off at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, but he was deemed fit enough to be included in the matchday squad for the visit of Cardiff City to Vitality Stadium three days later.

Boss Scott Parker introduced him in the 69th minute with Cherries 2-0 up against 10 men.

The hosts went on to win the game 3-0, but Stanislas did not complete the match, forced off just 14 minutes after coming on.

Discussing the reason for Stanislas's withdrawal straight after the contest, Parker told the Daily Echo: "His shoulder really. I take responsibility a little bit there to be quite honest with you.

"Like I said, against QPR, a big shoulder problem there. He had an injection before the game.

"I take responsibility really because I probably should’ve just let him be, certainly with the way the game was.

"Then obviously he’s come on and at that moment, where the game is and the status of the game, I don’t want to aggravate anything or cause any further damage.

"We’ll have to investigate a little bit more to see exactly how that is."

However, as first reported by BBC Radio Solent, it is in fact another hamstring problem, picked up in that win over Steve Morison's Bluebirds, which is now keeping Stanislas out of action.

He was not part of the squad which won at Yeovil Town in the FA Cup on Saturday, and may not return before April.

Discussing his squad's fitness ahead of the trip to Huish Park last week, Parker said: “There's a few nursing injuries. There’s nothing that's jumping out. Junior Stanislas will see specialists but, other than that, I can’t mention COVID cases due to confidentiality.

"There are players with knocks and little bits here and there."

If Stanislas does miss the full 12 weeks, he could be absent for as many as 13 Cherries matches before hopefully returning in time for the run-in.