Burnley captain Ben Mee likely to miss meeting with former club Manchester City at Turf Moor
Burnley captain Ben Mee is likely to miss the meeting with former club Manchester City next month.
An extended break prior to the visit of the Premier League leaders will enhance the skipper's chances of recovery.
But boss Sean Dyche is weighing up the 'risk and reward' factor, with games against Norwich City, Watford and Everton still to come.
The 32-year-old suffered a non-displaced (hairline) fibula fracture following a robust challenge with Leicester City striker Patson Daka.
He has since been unavailable for games against Chelsea and Brentford, both of which ended in defeat.
Asked if he had a chance of featuring against Pep Guardiola's defending champions, Dyche said: "I doubt it, there is a chance but it would be a risk and reward scenario that we have had so many times this season. We will wait and see.
"It has been a story of the season where we have had different spells of injuries and now it is a suspension as well [with Nathan Collins]."
There wasn't an underlying reason for Dutch forward Wout Weghorst's withdrawal at the Brentford Community Stadium, either.
Dyche confirmed that the ex-Wolfsburg striker was fatigued after running himself into the ground against the Bees, which saw Jay Rodriguez introduced as his replacement in the 67th minute.
"He looked tired, but he has put so much in and does put so much in," said Dyche. "Jay was a bit unlucky and I thought he did well when he came on and added to the performance. Maxwel looked a threat and looks like he is getting fitter."
Erik Pieters and Matej Vydra could be back in contention after the two-week break, while midfielder Dale Stephens is back with the squad, but Johann Berg Gudmundsson will remain sidelined with a calf injury.
With the home game against Southampton being postponed, due to the Saints' involvement in the FA Cup, Dyche said: "We don't want the break obviously, although it gives us a chance with injuries.
"It's been such a tough season with injuries, Covid and mix-up of fixtures. The break is good for injuries, it'll give players a better chance to get fit, we'll lose some internationals, so there's still a challenge, then get ready for a nice, easy one against Manchester City."
And Jack Cork, who is out of contract in the summer, though there is a 12-month option attached to it, might well find himself back in the thinking.
The England cap was replaced by Ashley Westwood on the hour in the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, but hasn't been seen since.
“He will certainly play more football for us as I have explained to him," Dyche said.
“We will wait and see (on his contract). First thing first is to make sure we keep winning games to stay in the Premier League, that is the most important thing beyond all else and the players know that."
Nathan Collins, who received Burnley’s first red card in more than three years against the Bees, will also sit out the game against City, with Republic of Ireland defender Kevin Long expected to deputise alongside James Tarkowski at the heart of defence.