London - Bournemouth suffered another major injury setback on Wednesday when captain Tommy Elphick was sidelined for a lengthy spell after undergoing ankle surgery.
The defender had seen a specialist after missing two games and could be out for up to 10 weeks although manager Eddie Howe said "it may be shorter".
The Premier League new boys, in 15th place with eight points from eight matches, have already lost Callum Wilson, record signing Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel to serious injuries since the start of the season.
Howe said leading scorer Wilson has also had surgery on the knee injury he suffered against Stoke City on Sept. 26 which will keep him out for about six months.
Better news for Howe is that midfielder Harry Arter is close to returning from a persistent groin problem, though his return is at least a week away, and the manager is already planning ahead to boost his squad in the January transfer window.
"We have players in mind, but there can be twists and turns," he told a news conference on Wednesday.
Bournemouth face a trip to league leaders Manchester City on Saturday with Howe expecting "our biggest examination to date.
"We will have to be at levels we haven't been at this season," he said.
"If everyone is at their maximum, we are in with a chance of getting a result. We have to believe you can win and we do. We have been in every game we have played."