Elliott Ward joined on a free transfer from Norwich City and became a key member of the side last seaon before injury.
Image by: Steve Cook/afcb.co.uk
Elliott Ward is expected to be out for two months following surgery on a knee problem earlier this week.
The defender missed pre-season through injury, but returned to start in the Capital One Cup first round tie against Exeter City.
Although he completed 90 minutes at St James Park, he travelled to Rome for specialist treatment shortly afterwards.
“Elliott needed an operation, which he had in Italy earlier this week,” Eddie Howe told afcb.co.uk.
“We are told it will be two months until he is up and running again, so it will be a sustained spell on the sidelines for him.
“It’s a real shame because he worked really hard to get fit after his previous injury.
“We are hopeful we can get him back sooner rather than later.”
Both Simon Francis and Tokelo Rantie will be assessed ahead of this weekend’s fixture against Norwich City.
Francis has missed the last three fixtures with a hamstring problem, while Tokelo Rantie twisted his ankle in the midweek win over Northampton Town.