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Dyche Hopes Defender Not Out For Long

19 January 2017

Sean Dyche expects defender Kevin Long to remain sidelined for a short spell after undergoing minor knee surgery.

Long was not able to be considered for the Clarets’ two FA Cup ties against Sunderland as a result of a problem which is a knock-on effect from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered two years ago.

“He has had a very minor bit of scar tissue on his tendon,” said Dyche.

“He’s just had that taken out. It’s quite a normal thing. It will probably be a few weeks, nothing more, hopefully.”

Long, 26, underwent knee surgery after being injured on his Premier League debut at Newcastle United on New Year’s Day, 2015.

Since recovering, the centre-back has had loan spells with Barnsley and MK Dons, playing 15 first-team games last season.

Kevin Long helped Barnsley reach the League One play-offs last season

The Irishman's current spell on the sidelines denied him the chance to add to his solitary Burnley appearance this season when Dyche made changes for the ties against the Black Cats.

James Tarkowski took the chance to impress against Sunderland, both in the 0-0 draw on Wearside and the Clarets’ 2-0 win in Tuesday night’s third-round replay as he partnered Michael Keane in the centre of defence.

And Dyche admits some of his defenders have been unfortunate not to play more this season, with Keane and Ben Mee currently holding down the centre-back slots in the Premier League.

“We like Longy as well. We think Longy is a good player,” added the Burnley boss.

“I’m really pleased with that group of players there, but Ben and Keano have been in very good form.

“It’s hard for Tarky at the minute but he’s an absolutely fantastic professional who keeps working at his game and I was delighted with him the other night.”

James Tarkowski has made eight substitute appearances in the Premier League

Long has recently been joined in the Clarets’ treatment room by wingers Scott Arfield and Johann Berg Gudmundsson, while Dean Marney and Ashley Barnes both missed the mid-week win over Sunderland with knocks.

But Dyche is hopeful they could be available to figure at Arsenal on Sunday.

“We had to make a decision on both of them and we’re hopeful over the next couple of days they come through fine,” he said.

“Johann and Scotty are making good progress, so there’s a decent chance they will be in and around it at the weekend as well.”

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