England and Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton sidelined after shoulder surgery
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton has had surgery on a shoulder injury and is expected to be out "for months", Burnley manager Sean Dyche has announced.
The 31-year-old, capped three times by England, suffered the injury after landing awkwardly during the first half of the Clarets' 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace last weekend and went under the knife on Wednesday.
Dyche had said after the game he suspected Heaton would be missing for a number of months and, asked whether that would be the case at a press conference on Thursday, he replied: "Yes, It won't be weeks, it will be a longer period."
Heaton joined the Clarets 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.
However, the dislocation will keep him out for the foreseeable future, which could hamper his hopes of being one of the three English goalkeepers heading for the World Cup next year if Gareth Southgate's men get there.
"It was successful in its immediacy, I'm told that went very well," Dyche added of the surgery.
"Tom was good afterwards, I haven't spoken to him yet as he was a bit groggy last night but the physio's kept me informed.
"We all know the extent to which Tom's professionalism goes, and he's as good as it gets. As regards rehab - as long as the surgery heals properly, which we've got no reason to think it won't - he'll be on top of that because he's ultra professional.
"The first thought is get him as right as possible, back to where he was really. There will not be any thought about rushing people back because in the long run it just doesn't work.
"You know there will be a slightly lesser period for an outfield player - for keepers, they are constantly landing on their shoulders so common sense says it's even more reason to make sure it's 100 per cent right.
"The early signs are very good, we're very happy with the surgery.
"He will be fine with that, he understands the role and that it can happen. He's had a fantastic run of it not happening to him. This is just a blip, hopefully he'll get through it and we'll move forward."
In Heaton's absence former Charlton stopper Nick Pope, 25, made his Premier League debut last weekend and is expected to continue as Dyche's starter between the sticks.
With Paul Robinson having retired in the summer, free agent Anders Lindegaard has also been on trial this week as Dyche looks to add a more experienced stopper to provide back up along with Adam Legzdins.
"We'll speak to him accordingly," Dyche said of ex-Manchester United stopper Lindegaard. "Ideally in the perfect world you want three (keepers).
"Nick Pope's been working with some top-class keepers and he's been improving all the time. The main measure is when you play, you've still got to see improvement on a daily basis and I think we have seen that.
"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."
Heaton was one of the three England goalkeepers taken to Euro 2016 by Roy Hodgson and he has been a regular fixture in Gareth Southgate's recent squads too.
Southgate is likely to have more options for Russia thanks to a fit-again Jack Butland and the development of Jordan Pickford, but Dyche does not think Heaton's injury will hamper his international hopes for next summer.
"I think he's still got plenty of time," Dyche said.
"It will be a longer-term injury but not as in a full season, we hope.
"I'm sure it crossed his mind quicker than mine. I'm sure at this moment there will be thoughts of, 'How quickly can I get right and when I can be available and up for selection?'."