The England international is expected to miss up to 10 weeks with a fractured ankle sustained in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea last week.
Asked if he will look to bring in a replacement when the window opens for business next week, Howe told reporters: "We'll wait and see what we do; the January window is always tough to recruit in.
"The four strikers we have, I think they're all top quality. I have no hesitation in playing any of them, so I don't think Jermain's injury forces my hand at all.
"We're bitterly disappointed to lose Jermain; he's going to be out for around 10 weeks. He's worked incredibly hard since he's been here behind the scenes. And we just hope when he's back there's no complications with the injury and he can pick up where he left off."
Defoe has three goals to his name in 15 Premier League appearances since joining Bournemouth from Sunderland in the summer.