Pato's season looks at an end

Martin Paterson
Pato sustained the injury in the first place in the home game against Doncaster in early November and more than once looked set for a return before suffering a reaction. However, everything looked fine and he made a goalscoring return in the cup win last week before breaking down in another substitute appearance four days later.

Manager Eddie Howe confirmed that he'd be out for at least eight weeks after a tear was found. Howe said: "Unfortunately Martin has had a recurrence of his thigh injury, which is a huge blow to us.

"He is going to be out for about eight weeks with a slight tear, but the likelihood is he is going to struggle to play again this season. We would like to think we could get him back, but there is clearly a problem in there and we need to make sure we address it and get it right for the lad's sake.

"He did all his rehab spot on and we gave him time to get right, but it is just one of those things that you can't give a reason for and it's just unfortunate for him."

Paterson started the first five league games of the season after struggling through pre-season, and then returned for two games in November before suffering this latest injury which looks to have brought an early end to a second successive injury ravaged season for him.