It has been confirmed that striker Ashley Barnes suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in the Clarets’ final game of the season at Aston Villa on Sunday.
And the 25-year-old is expected to miss much of next season.
Scans revealed the former Brighton man suffered anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament damage during the 1-0 victory at Villa Park after a challenge from Villa midfielder Fabian Delph.
Barnes, who will undergo an operation next week, is the fourth Burnley player to suffer a cruciate knee injury in just 14 months, following striker Sam Vokes, defender Kevin Long and, most recently, central midfielder Dean Marney.
Boss Sean Dyche said: “To say this is bad luck is an understatement.
“They have been innocuous incidents that have ended up with four serious injuries and it’s an incredible misfortune.
To say this is bad luck is an understatementSean Dyche
“Obviously it’s a big blow and our thoughts are with Ashley, but the irony is that our ‘preventable’ soft tissue injuries have improved year-on-year.
“To then have four cruciate injuries, you just can’t believe it.
“However, Ashley will be looked after. He will undergo surgery next week and we know what a tough lad he is and he will be back on the road to recovery as soon as possible.”
Dyche added: “The positive side is that we are well rehearsed now in this type of injury and Ashley has Dean (Marney) and Kevin (Long) just in front of him and they all have Sam (Vokes) to look to as someone who has recovered and is back playing again.”
It is a cruel blow for Barnes, who netted five goals in his debut Premier League campaign, becoming a mainstay after breaking into the side at the start of November, and subsequently missing only one game, at home to Leicester City, through suspension.
Such a run of bad fortune is not unprecedented at the club, with similar injuries suffered by goalkeeper Danny Coyne in October 2004, Wayne Thomas in August the following year, Besart Berisha, before making a first team appearance, in August 2007, and Michael Duff a month later, before on-loan Sunderland man Russell Anderson was hurt in September 2008.