Burnley's English goalkeeper Tom Heaton (L) catches the ball before falling awkwardly during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on September 10, 2017. AFP Photo

BURNLEY: Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton is set to be sidelined “for months” after undergoing surgery on his shoulder, Clarets manager Sean Dyche said Thursday.

Heaton, capped three times by England, landed awkwardly on his shoulder after colliding with team-mate Ben Mee as he caught the ball in the first half of Burnley’s 1-0 Premier League win at home to Crystal Palace last weekend.

The 31-year-old was taken off in the 36th minute after being treated on the pitch for several minutes.

Heaton had emerged as a genuine contender for the England goalkeeper role currently held by West Ham’s Joe Hart.

After the Palace match at Turf Moor, Dyche said he expected Heaton to be out of action for months and, asked if that was still the case, the Burnley boss said Thursday: “Yes, It won’t be weeks, it will be a longer period.”

Heaton joined northwest side Burnley in the summer of 2013 and had played every league game in each of his three seasons before last term, when he only missed three.

Dyche, speaking about Heaton’s operation, added: “It was successful in its immediacy, I’m told that went very well. Tom was good afterwards.

“We all know the extent to which Tom’s professionalism goes, and he’s as good as it gets.”

Former Charlton goalkeeper Nick Pope, 25, made his Premier League debut last weekend and is expected to continue as Heaton’s replacement for the immediate future, although Anders Lindegaard, formerly with Manchester United, has been having trials with Burnley.

“We’ll speak to him accordingly,” Dyche said of Lindegaard. “Nick Pope’s been working with some top-class keepers and he’s been improving all the time.

“He delivered a very, very good performance (against Palace) in a tough game, an awkward game for us.

“He’s got a chance to continue and show what he can do. That’s a great opportunity for him.” --AFP

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