Southampton, Bournemouth hit by injuries to key players

LONDON (AP) " Southampton and Bournemouth lost key players to long-term injuries on Thursday in a big blow to their Premier League campaigns.

Virgil van Dijk will be out for up to three months with an ankle injury, Southampton manager Claude Puel said, meaning the center back will definitely miss the League Cup final against Manchester United on Feb. 26.

"It's an important problem and difficult for us," Puel said. "He is important for the group and the fans with his quality and leadership."

Southampton recently sold center back Jose Fonte to West Ham and is unable to bring in a reinforcement now that the transfer window has closed.

Bournemouth will be without top-scorer Callum Wilson for the rest of the season after the striker ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in training.

Wilson is expected to be unable to train for at least six months. He had a similar injury last season.

"Callum showed incredible character and determination to come back from a similar setback last season," Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said, "and we know he has the same strength and will to do the same again."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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