Bournemouth's Wilson undergoes minor knee operation

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Eddie Howe has allayed fears about the striker's long-term fitness despite the latest injury blow

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson was ruled out of Wednesday's Premier League match against Chelsea after having minor knee surgery.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe confirmed the England international underwent the procedure to "clean it out".

Wilson is Bournemouth’s top scorer this season with 11 goals in all competitions.

The 26-year-old has suffered two serious knee injuries in recent years and news of this latest operation is bound to raise concern.

But Howe was eager to play down any fears about Wilson's long-term fitness.

"Callum just had a very, very minor knee operation, just to clean it out. He will be out around about three weeks we think, so not too serious," said Howe before the game.

Wilson, who joined from Coventry for £3 million in 2014, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in September 2015 and was ruled out for seven months.

Then, in February 2017, Wilson suffered the same injury in his left knee and was out for a further eight months.

Despite that double blow, Wilson made a successful return to action and has starred for the Cherries this campaign.

His performances in a black and red shirt earned him a call-up to the England squad, where he scored on his Three Lions debut in a friendly against the United States at Wembley in November.

Wilson’s impressive displays also led to speculation regarding a January transfer – with Chelsea heavily linked with a move.

However, Maurizio Sarri’s side instead went for Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus, who made his Premier League debut at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday.

Bournemouth made a flying start to this campaign but have endured a tough few months.

The Cherries were as high as sixth after a 3-0 win at Fulham at the end of October, but their form has dramatically tailed off.

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Howe’s side have lost 11 of their last 15 matches in all competitions to slump further down the table and go out of the FA Cup at the hands of Brighton.

However, the Cherries rebounded with a 4-0 win over Chelsea on Wednesday behind a double from Josh King. 

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