Bournemouth captain Simon Francis has suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury, the club has confirmed.
The defender featured during the Cherries’ 5-0 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley on Boxing Day but was stretchered off the field late in the first half. Francis was then assessed by the club’s medical staff before undergoing a scan in London on Wednesday evening.
Bournemouth have now confirmed that an anterior cruciate ligament rupture is set to keep the 33-year-old out for six to nine months. As quoted by the club’s official website, manager Eddie Howe said: “We are devastated to have lost Simon to a serious knee injury.
“It is a huge blow for us to lose our captain and someone who has performed so well and consistently for the team over a long period of time.
“There is a long road ahead but Simon is a model professional who has a positive mindset and is surrounded by good people. I know he will leave no stone unturned in order to get back as soon as possible.
“He will receive the best possible medical care as well as the love and support of everyone at the club.”
Francis has been a crucial figure in Bournemouth’s strong showing during the first half of the season, captaining his side to 11th in the Premier League ahead of the New Year.
The defender has featured in all but two of the Cherries’ league games so far this season, helping his side keep five clean sheets in the process.
The loss of their captain to a long-term injury is another big setback for Bournemouth following the emphatic nature of their defeat at Tottenham on Boxing Day.
Eddie Howe’s side must regroup quickly as the Cherries travel to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday in the Premier League for their final match of 2018.