NEW signing Danny Ings is out until the new year without kicking a ball for the club.
And the 19-year-old’s cruel blow will intensify boss Eddie Howe’s search for a forward.
Ings moved from Bournemouth last week in a deal which could ultimately be worth £1m, but suffered cartilage damage after his second training session on Thursday, doing extra shooting drills.
He will undergo an operation this week, and is expected to be out until January.
Howe said: “It’s a real blow for us and for Danny. I think it’s a serious one. I think we’re looking at four to five months. All his ligaments are fine. It’s his lateral meniscus.
“He was just doing some shooting practice after training on Thursday. He was on his own, there was no tackle involved. He hit a ball against a post and just as he landed with his shooting foot he felt something go with his knee.”
Ings has no history of knee damage, and Howe added: “He’s never had a knee problem before.
“Sometimes you try to work out a reason for these things. With every reason you want to try to find a reason behind it and we’ve been scratching our heads with this one.
“He was taking a shot he’s probably taken thousands of times in his career.
“There’s nothing you can say really, it’s just fate and just happens.
“We’ve just got to make sure with Danny we get him back as fit as we can. We bought him for the future, he’s still only 19. He will come back from this but it’s a blow to lose him just as he’s settling into the club.
“The first two days of training he looked so bright.
“It’s a blow for him.”