AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe confirmed loanee Christian Atsu has returned to Chelsea for treatment on a stress fracture.
Atsu – on a season-long loan at the Premier League newcomers – suffered a shin injury while on international duty for Ghana in September and Howe revealed the 23-year-old returned to Stamford Bridge over a month ago.
The Ghanaian winger, who has managed just two League Cup appearances since joining Bournemouth on a temporary basis for the 2015-16 campaign following a pre-season hampered by a back problem, is no closer to returning according to Howe.
Speaking ahead of Bournemouth’s trip to Southampton on Sunday, Howe said: “This has been dragging on for about six weeks. He got a knock on his shin in the first international break that put him out for a couple of weeks and then he got kicked again a couple of weeks after and that has resulted in him having to go back to Chelsea for treatment.
“Unfortunately we haven’t seen Christian here for about a month. It’s going to take time for him to get fit again. It has been a real shame.
“The timeframe is unknown at the moment but it is a stress fracture on his shin. We don’t think it is anything serious, there will be no long-term problems but he may be back at Chelsea for another three to four weeks.”