GARY O’Neil revealed that centre-back pair Lloyd Kelly and Jack Stephens missed Cherries’ defeat to Brighton due to calf injuries.

Captain Kelly and fellow defender Stephens were replaced by Chris Mepham and Marcos Senesi for the game at the Amex, Kaoru Mitoma grabbing the winner on 86 minutes.

The duo had played the full 90 minutes of Cherries’ last fixture, a 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest at the Vitality Stadium two weeks ago.

New recruit and Ukrainian international Illia Zabarnyi travelled to Sussex, but was not included in the match-day XI.

The 20-year-old has not played a competitive fixture since November owing to the fact that the Ukrainian Premier League is currently paused for a winter break.

With multiple absentees at the back, youngster Max Kinsley-Wellings was named on the bench, his first inclusion in a Cherries squad.

Asked about the absence of Kelly and Stephens, O’Neil replied: “They both picked up calf (injuries) in the Northern Forest game, so, they didn't make it for today.

“Hopefully they won't be too long.”

Kelly had previously missed games this campaign due to an ankle injury, as well as suffering from an abductor issue during pre-season.