Steven Defour is set to miss the rest of the season after under-going surgery on his injured calf.
In conjunction with the Clarets’ medical department, Defour has seen a couple of specialists to try and get to the bottom of the problem which has kept him out of Premier League duty since the start of December.
And the outcome has been an operation back in his native Belgium which is expected to delay a comeback until after the end of the current campaign.
“Steven has had another operation on his calf back in Belgium,” confirmed manager Sean Dyche.
“We’ve been waiting just to find out how it’s gone, but it was done to release the calf muscle that is too tight.
“He’s had it done many years ago and this was similar, so the surgeon he used before did it and our head of medical, Ally Beattie, went over to watch and oversee it.
“Steven is recovering now, and we are very confident that will clear up the problem.
“But obviously it’s unlikely he’ll be back before the end of the season now, which is a bit of a blow.”
The latest bout of surgery will hopefully restore Defour to full fitness following a testing year for the midfielder.
Having played such a key role in laying down the basis for the Clarets’ seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season, Defour was forced to undergo a knee operation at the end of January, 2018.
After returning for pre-season training, a number of set-backs have interrupted his progress since and limited the former Belgium international to three cup appearances and a run of six league starts between October and 1 December.
“He’s had a lot of ups and downs, such as the knee last year,” added Dyche.
“He’s been very unfortunate because he was going so well last year and had a situation that was dealt with.
“He’s actually been pretty clear with that since, but the knock-on effect has been these little injuries that sometimes happen.
“The calf injury was one too many. He’d had really small, niggly injuries, but the specialist felt it was better to deal with the long-term view and that’s why he’s had to have the simple operation.”
Apart from the absence of Defour and Aaron Lennon, who is being eased back following knee surgery in the middle of December, the Clarets have a fully fit squad for Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.
And a handful of those who have not featured regularly topped up their match fitness in mid-week with a 90-minute run-out in a training-ground game against Fleetwood Town.