Burnley midfielder Steven Defour is likely to be sidelined for the rest of the season after undergoing calf surgery, Clarets boss Sean Dyche has revealed.
Defour’s injury-disrupted season has seen him make only nine appearances in all competitions, the most recent coming in the 5-0 FA Cup loss at Manchester City on January 26.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Premier League trip to Liverpool, Dyche said the 30-year-old had had an operation on his calf in his native Belgium.
And he added: “We’re very confident that will clear the problem but it is unlikely he is going to get back before the end of the season, which is a bit of a blow.”
Defour started Burnley’s first 24 league games last term before suffering a knee injury, and did not feature again until September.
Dyche said: “He had the knee last year – very unfortunate. He was going so well last year and had a knee situation that was dealt with.
“Then the knock-on effect is he’s just had these little injuries that sometimes happen. The calf situation was one too many.
“The specialist felt it was best to deal with the longer-term view of it, and that is why he has had to have this operation.”
Burnley and Liverpool’s last meeting saw the Reds win 3-1 at Turf Moor in December.
After the game Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expressed his unhappiness about some of the challenges there had been on his players, including one by Ben Mee on Joe Gomez, who suffered a leg fracture.
Dyche at the time came out fighting in response to Klopp, commending his players for their tackling, and also accused Daniel Sturridge of having dived in the game.
On Friday Klopp said he had “no bad feelings about that game”.
And when Dyche was asked about the questioning of his side’s tackling that there had been on that occasion, he said: “I don’t think there was anything other than an opinion.
“You get asked so many questions, you have to give an opinion. All managers have their view of the game. Sometimes you think you’ve seen things that you haven’t, sometimes you’ve seen it and it is. But that’s each individual. Everyone has a varying view of things.
“All I know is they have moved on, we have moved on.
“The facts are the facts – they are a very strong side, they were strong on that occasion, they beat us fair and square.”
He added with regard to Sunday’s contest: “There’s no special story – it’s just ‘can we get another point, can we get a win?’They are the challenges.
“A very tough challenge that is, but our job is to see if we can take on mighty powers like Liverpool at their place and get a result.”
Burnley – who are 16th in the table, five points clear of the relegation zone – head into the contest against second-placed Liverpool having been on an eight-match unbeaten run in the league before losing each of their last two matches.
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