Jack Cork is out of Saturday’s clash with Everton at Turf Moor with a shoulder injury sustained at Aston Villa.
The midfielder, who has started 82 of the 83 Premier League games Burnley have played since his return from Swansea City in 2017, has a small fracture to his shoulder blade, suffered in an accidental coming together with Villa’s John McGinn.
Cork is unlikely to be out for long, especially given the two-week international break which follows tomorrow’s game, and Sean Dyche explained:
“Corky’s got a very minor fracture to his scapula at the back of the shoulder.
“It’s not as bad as it sounds, a few weeks rather than longer, so he won’t make Saturday.
“But it’s settled down well. The medical team said it was highly unlikely he makes this weekend, but it’s not a long-term issue.
“It’s a very simple thing. McGinn accidentally went over on his shoulder when his arm was back.
“The interesting thing was the free kick went against Corky!”
Cork went off at half-time at Villa with Burnley trailing 1-0, and, after Jay Rodriguez came on for his former Southampton teammate, Burnley switched to more of a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 shape, and claimed a 2-2 draw.
So, does Cork’s injury mean we are likely to see that system tomorrow? “We’ve had that in our locker since pre-season, particularly Jay Rod has given us a different view, and we knew Barnesy could play on the left hand side.”
Danny Drinkwater is making progress as he works back to fitness after an ankle injury, and Dyche added: “Drinky is getting back, he’s still not there yet, but he’s closer to getting back with us, and when he’s back with us, we can look to get him a game.”
Dyche gave a number of players some game time in a bounce game at Barnfield on Tuesday, in a 4-3 win over Oldham Athletic, who included former Claret Chris Eagles.
Charlie Taylor, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Robbie Brady, Matej Vydra, Phil Bardsley and Ben Gibson were among those who featured, and Dyche said: “We just wanted to make sure they topped up their fitness to keep them as sharp as we can.”
Everton are at Turf Moor for the first time since their 5-1 win on Boxing Day last year, which proved a big turning point in Burnley’s season.
Dyche has typically parked that result though: “It doesn’t still rankle with me, it was just the place the team was in at that time. We’re in a different place now, we’re performing well, with good energy, and the basics are in place. That was one of those moments that strangely changed our season, in a back-handed way.”