Jack Cork’s remarkable appearance record for the Clarets is set to take a hit on Saturday as he nurses a shoulder injury.
Cork was hurt at Aston Villa last Saturday – his 150th game for Burnley – with scans showing he suffered a minor fracture to a shoulder blade during the first half of the 2-2 draw.
The midfielder, who was replaced at half-time, is therefore set to miss just his second Premier League game for the Clarets since arriving on a permanent basis at Turf Moor in July, 2017.
“Unfortunately, Jack has very fine fracture in his scapula, which is an odd injury,” confirmed manager Sean Dyche.
“He was landed on and his shoulder bent back. The good news, because it’s fine and the nature of it, it’s not as serious as it sounds.
“Speaking with him he’s in good shape and said he’s not in any pain. But speaking to the medical teams it’s a ‘risk-and-reward’ scenario. Another land or fall could cause further damage.
“It’s disappointing news because he’s a good player and a valued member of the squad.
“But it’s not as serious as it sounds – hopefully – and in theory after the international break, at worst, he should be available again.”
Cork played every minute of the Clarets’ Premier League campaign in 2017/18 as Dyche’s men finished in the table.
And only an ankle injury denied him another ever-present record last term as the 30-year-old – who has started 82 of the 83 top-flight games Burnley have played since his signing from Swansea City – missed the Clarets’ loss at West Ham in early November.
His absence would therefore be felt, with loan signing Danny Drinkwater not yet fit enough to challenge for a place in central midfield.
Dwight McNeil filled a more central role in the second half at Villa Park
But Dyche is confident he has the options to cope as the Clarets look to extend their unbeaten record to four games against Everton at Turf Moor on Saturday.
“Jack’s played a lot of football for us, but on the other hand we’ve got a lot of good players in there as well,” added the Burnley boss.
“We know Jeff (Hendrick) can operate in there and we know Westy is a really good footballer.
“Dwight has operated in there as well, with a three particularly, so we have got options there.
“But Jack’s a good player and the team and the squad value his contribution.”
The Clarets have no other injury concerns, with wingers Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson both topping up their fitness following recent lay-offs in a training-ground game against Oldham Athletic on Tuesday.
Both got on the scoresheet as Dyche took the opportunity to play several of his senior players for 90 minutes against the League Two side.