Speculation is mounting that Allan Saint-Maximin has played his final game in the club's black and white shirt.
The French winger put out a post on social media that appeared cryptic, stating: “Time passes, memories fade, feelings change, people leave us, but the heart never forgets. Making history."
“That will be dictated by Maxi himself," Howe responded to reporters.
"He has so much ability and he's such an important player for us when he's at his very best fitness-wise. He's unique, there's no one like him in the Premier League.
“You saw he's a huge transitional threat today, his end product was there so really pleased. We just hope he comes back really fit and ready to do well in what is a massive season for him personally."