Nathan Ake is unlikely to play again this season after suffering an injury in Bournemouth’s huge win over Leicester, according to boss Eddie Howe.
The defender was taken off shortly before half-time after taking a knock tackling Jamie Vardy as he was about to shoot at goal, and was replaced by Steve Cook.
He looked in some pain and it will be a blow to the Cherries’ survival hopes for the final three games, after giving themselves renewed optimism with a bullish 4-1 demolition of Champions League-chasing Leicester.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Bournemouth’s win over Leicester in the Premier League
Howe told Sky Sports at full-time: “It doesn’t look too good. With such a short time left of the season, it looks like it’s going to be difficult for him to play.”
Ake has been among Bournemouth’s best players during an otherwise tumultuous campaign that has seen them battling to avoid the drop.
Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake is helped off the pitch after he was injured against Leicester
He has impressed at centre-back despite his side’s 20 Premier League defeats this season and has been of interest to former club Chelsea and Manchester City during the January transfer window.
He is expected to have more suitors again this summer and Bournemouth will hope he has not already played his last game for them, which will be increasingly likely if they do ultimately drop into the Championship.
Howe’s side are three points adrift of safety with tough games to finish the season against Manchester City, Southampton and Everton.