James Tarkowski has undergone surgery to repair a bone fracture in his hand and will recover while serving a three-match ban.
The Clarets’ defender suffered the injury when falling awkwardly in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Brighton as he conceded a penalty following a tangle with Glenn Murray, which the Seagulls’ striker missed.
Tarkowski was subsequently charged by the FA with violent conduct following a separate incident involving Murray.
Tarkowski accepted the charge but argued the length of the suspension was excessive - a claim rejected by an Independent Regulatory Commission, to the disappointment of manager Sean Dyche.
“I think it must be pointed out we don't condone that action,” said the Burnley boss.
“At the time I was annoyed with Tarky because it's not like Tarky and it's not like us.
“But retrospectively, having seen it afterwards, the reason we're a bit surprised is that you can clearly see Glenn Murray grab his hand and that hand now has five pins it and a metal plate.
“I would suggest an action causes reaction. We put that to the panel, but they decided not and that it shouldn’t be reduced.”
Dyche added: “What I think has to be looked at, is that this incident can't be deemed the same as some we see and put in the same bracket and therefore (earn) three-game bans.
“I think that has to change. I think it’s a reaction to an action. He should not react like that - that's clear - but to get a three-game ban like that is disappointing, particularly in the same game when someone at the other end of the pitch (Jose Izquierdo) is diving on the floor and gets nothing.”
Dyche is hopeful Tarkowski – who will miss games against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Huddersfield Town as his ever-present runs comes to an end – will be fit to return for the Clarets’ home game against Liverpool on New Year’s Day.
And it’s case closed as far as the Brighton incident - where Tarkowksi threw an arm in the direction of Murray’s chest - is concerned.
Kevin Long could make his fifth appearance of the season against Spurs
Dyche said: “It’s a rare one I’ve seen in him because he’s been immaculate in everything he’s done since he’s been at the club. I’m certainly not going to over-think this one and I don’t expect he will.
“We’re not going to elaborate too much on it. He’s had the operation. That will clear up and he will get on with keeping fit and get ready to go again.”
Dyche admitted that the loss of Tarkowski, allied to the knee injury to left-back Stephen Ward, has left his squad “at a stretch for the first time in a while.”
Ward will miss Saturday’s visit of Tottenham Hotspur (kick-off 5.30pm) when Kevin Long is set to step in to partner Ben Mee in the centre of the Clarets’ defence, having helped secure back-to-back 1-0 wins over Watford and Stoke City earlier this month in his two starts this season.
“I have great faith in the players and it’s a great opportunity for other people to go into the team and make sure they deliver a performance, like they have done historically,” added Dyche, who also confirmed that Dean Marney and Jon Walters could come into contention for a return to the squad over the holiday period.