Jack Wilshere is likely to miss the rest of the season amid fears that he has suffered a fracture to his lower left leg.
An initial X-ray did not show up a break but a series of further scans and tests were held on Tuesday and there is renewed concern now that there is a small crack.
Formal confirmation has not yet followed but, should Wilshere’s worst fears be realised, he is facing another significant spell on the sidelines.
Wilshere suffered the injury to the same area of his fibula that forced him to miss much of last season. It followed an accidental collision with Harry Kane during Bournemouth's 4-0 defeat against Tottenham and the 25-year-old left White Hart Lane on crutches and in a protective boot.
If Wilshere’s season is over, he is likely to return to parent club Arsenal following 27 games this season on loan at Bournemouth. Wilshere has benefitted from regular football at Bournemouth but, after so many long-term injuries, this latest set-back would add to the already significant doubt about his future.
Wilshere is out of contract next year and, while manager Arsene Wenger has said that the midfielder is part of his plans and will be offered a new deal, there must be serious concern over his fitness.
He has not played more than 25 Premier League games in a season for Arsenal since his breakthrough campaign in 2010-11 and lost almost two complete seasons to injury in 2011-12 and then 2015-16.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has said that he would like Wilshere to sign permanently after playing him this season in a variety of midfield positions. Arsenal’s central midfield still looks crowded amid competition for places between Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla, although Wenger has struggled to find a regular pairing ever since Cazorla’s injury. Wilshere’s last England game was as a substitute in the 2-1 Euro 2016 defeat against Iceland last June.