Belfast Telegraph

Lengthy lay-off for Barnes

Burnley striker Ashley Barnes is set to miss the majority of next season after suffering a serious knee injury.

The Clarets have announced that the 25-year-old sustained anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament damage in Sunday's final-day Barclays Premier League victory over Aston Villa.

Barnes, who will undergo surgery next week, is the fourth Burnley player to be struck by a cruciate ligament injury in the space of 14 months, following Sam Vokes, Kevin Long and Dean Marney into long-term rehabilitation.

Manager Sean Dyche said: "To say this is bad luck is an understatement. They have been innocuous incidents that have ended up with four serious injuries, and it's an incredible misfortune.

"Obviously it's a big blow and our thoughts are with Ashley, but the irony is that our 'preventable' soft tissue injuries have improved year-on-year. To then have four cruciate injuries, you just can't believe it.

"However, Ashley will be looked after. He will undergo surgery next week and we know what a tough lad he is, and he will be back on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

"The positive side is that we are well rehearsed now in this type of injury. Ashley has Dean and Kevin just in front of him and they all have Sam to look to as someone who has recovered and is back playing again."

Barnes limped off the pitch 34 minutes into Sunday's game after landing awkwardly following an aerial challenge with Fabian Delph.

A club statement said: "Burnley Football Club can confirm that Ashley Barnes has suffered a cruciate knee injury that is likely to sideline him for much of next season.

"Scans earlier today revealed that the Clarets striker, 25, suffered anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament damage during the 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on the final day of the Premier League season."

The win at Villa Park came too late for Dyche's men to preserve their top-flight status and Barnes, who made 37 appearances and scored five goals last season, will be a big miss as the club attempts to bounce back at the first time of asking.


From Belfast Telegraph