EDDIE Howe is promising Cherries will offer their full support to Rhoys Wiggins after the defender suffered a season-ending injury playing for loan club Birmingham City.

Wiggins completed a six-month switch to the Blues at the end of August, but his first start – against Aston Villa on October 30 – ended with him badly damaging his knee in a collision with Rudy Gestede.

Birmingham manager Gary Rowett subsequently revealed the player had "felt something snap" as he tussled with the striker.

And after confirming Wiggins would need an operation to cure the problem, Howe pledged to help the 29-year-old on the road back to fitness.

"I’ve seen Rhoys," said Cherries boss Howe. "I’m devastated for the boy. I think we’re looking at next season before he’s back. It’s very difficult for him because he’s had a couple of injuries previous to this one. We’re going to give him our full support and hope he makes a full recovery."

Wiggins returned to Vitality Stadium in January, the former Crystal Palace player signing from Sheffield Wednesday four-and-a-half years after he had left Cherries for Charlton Athletic.

He didn't feature at all under Howe before moving to Birmingham and had made just one appearance as a substitute for Rowett's side prior to playing from the start against Villa.