Burnley manager Sean Dyche has confirmed that midfielder Steven Defour is unlikely to return to action this season, after undergoing an operation on a calf issue that has kept him on the sidelines for the majority of the campaign so far.
The 30-year-old missed the first eight games of the season due to the injury, and after a fleeting resurgence at the tail end of 2018, has failed to feature in any of the Clarets last 15 Premier League matches.
SD confirms that @StevenDefour has had an operation on his calf, and is recovering.— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) March 8, 2019
The Belgian is unlikely to be fit before the end of the season.
And Dyche, speaking before the Clarets' trip to Liverpool this weekend, has revealed (via Burnley's official Twitter account), that he isn't likely to feature for the remainder of the campaign, as he recovers from an operation to amend the issue.
It comes as the latest blow in what has been an unfortunate year or so for the Belgian, who had previously been a key player since signing from Anderlecht in 2016.
Prior to the injury that has derailed his season, he missed the second half of the 2017/18 campaign watching from the sidelines as he recovered from a separate issue.
The loss of Defour adds to what has already been a difficult couple of weeks for the club, in which relegation has re-emerged as a serious fear.
After recording a surprise victory over Tottenham at the end of February, they have since lost back-to-back games against Newcastle and Crystal Palace, and have slipped to 16th place - just five points from danger.
They travel to Anfield on Saturday to face a Liverpool side aiming to get their title challenge back on track.