Smith loss is a big blow - Howe
Eddie Howe says the loss of Bournemouth defender Adam Smith to a knee injury is a big blow.
The full-back faces up to three months on the sidelines after having surgery on his right knee to repair his damaged cartilage and it could be the end of January before he returns to the side.
Smith picked up the problem in the defeat to Newcastle and Howe says it is a big blow for the side to lose such a player for the hectic Christmas period.
He told the Echo: "Adam has been excellent over a long period of time.
"He has great energy about him and enthusiasm for the game. He is an excellent trainer and very popular in the dressing room.
"It is a big miss for us. His versatility has been key in recent seasons.
"He has played in a number of positions and wherever he has played, he has performed at a high level."
Nick Harris is a long-standing journalist who specialises in football and rugby league. An avid golfer, Nick also follows the major boxing fights closely.