Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter faces a late fitness test to determine his availability for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday (22 October). The Republic of Ireland international picked up an ankle injury in the win over Hull City, leaving the Vitality Stadium on crutches.
Manager Eddie Howe initially described the blow as "nasty", a suggestion that the Cherries could be without the 26-year-old for an extended spell. The former Woking youngster has played in all eight of the south coast club's top-flight fixtures this term, but now joins a lengthy injury list.
Full-back Brad Smith, midfielder Lewis Cook and winger Max Gradel returned from the recent international break with respective foot, ankle and hamstring injuries and are all expected to miss the visit of Tottenham, who can go top of the Premier League with victory in the lunchtime fixture. Arter could yet be involved for Howe, but is regarded as 50-50.
"We're going to have to make a very late call on Harry," Howe told reporters, according to the official Bournemouth website. "I'd say he's 50-50 to make it at this stage – we'll make a late decision. We had a few injuries from the international break last week. Brad Smith is still out, he got a really nasty whack on his foot so there's a lot of bone bruising. He hasn't kicked a ball but Max Gradel will be there or thereabouts. Lewis Cook has a nasty looking ankle injury so he'll be out for a period of time."
Tottenham inflicted a heavy 6-1 defeat on Bournemouth in the equivalent game last season and arrive in Dorset as the Premier League's form club. Mauricio Pochettino will again be without Harry Kane, who scored a hat-trick in that heavy win, but Howe still expects a real test.
"Tottenham haven't been beaten or conceded a goal from open play in the league this season, so they're certainly in good form," he added. "For me, last season they, along with Manchester City, were the strongest side we faced. We had two very tough games against Spurs last season, but we've definitely learnt from those experiences.
"I think we're better prepared for these kinds of games. We're more hardened to Premier League football and our belief and confidence levels are better than what they previously were, but we have to prove it on the pitch. It's going to be a real test for us. They have an outstanding manager who in my opinion is up there with the very best. The intensity at which his sides play makes them difficult opponents. They are genuine title contenders."