Ashley Barnes is expected to miss the majority of next season after suffering a double knee ligament injury during Burnley’s 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday.
The forward scored five Premier League goals for Sean Dyche’s side, although it was not enough to save the club from relegation.
Now preparations for life in the Championship – and a bid for an immediate return to the top flight – have been dealt a blow with news of Barnes’ injury, with scans confirming the 25-year-old suffered anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament damage.
“To say this is bad luck is an understatement,” Dyche told the club’s official website.
“Obviously it’s a big blow and our thoughts are with Ashley, but the irony is that our ‘preventable’ soft tissue injuries have improved year-on-year.
“Ashley will be looked after. He will undergo surgery next week and we know what a tough lad he is and he will be back on the road to recovery as soon as possible.
“The positive side is that we are well rehearsed now in this type of injury and Ashley has Dean [Marney] and Kevin [Long] just in front of him and they all have Sam [Vokes] to look to as someone who has recovered and is back playing again.”
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