Burnley's James Tarkowski set to miss Newcastle game after surgery
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By PA Sport
Last Updated: 22/11/18 4:12pm
Burnley are likely to be without James Tarkowski for Monday's Premier League game with Newcastle after he underwent surgery on his hernia.
The England defender withdrew from the World Cup standby squad to try and fix the problem in the summer but has been affected over the opening months of the season.
Burnley took the opportunity of the international break to send Tarkowski for a second operation after he saw a specialist, and he is recovering so well that he has not yet been ruled out of Monday's match.
Manager Sean Dyche said: "He's going nicely on the grass. He's not quite with us yet so Monday's probably going to come too early for him but he's making good progress.
"I think there was a slight opening that can sometimes happen. So when they got in there it wasn't anything too drastic and it was dealt with pretty simply. We're very hopeful on a quick return."
Burnley have been unexpectedly shaky at the back, conceding 25 goals in only 12 Premier League games, but they achieved a much-needed clean sheet against Leicester before the international break in Tarkowski's absence.
"It's given a chance again for Kevin Long, who delivered a good performance at Leicester," said Dyche.
"Tarky's proved to be a very good player. We want him back fit, we want all the lads back fit. The more fit players we've got, the better chance we've got because I believe in the group mentality."
Injury issues have contributed to a largely disappointing start to the season for Burnley but there are positive signs.
Ben Gibson has had two hernia operations since making only his second Burnley appearance in August but is now close to a comeback, while goalkeeper Nick Pope is also back in training following his shoulder dislocation.
Concern over Steven Defour's knee has proved unfounded - the Belgian only returned from a serious knee injury in September and was forced off against Leicester after twisting it.
Dyche said: "He's made really good progress and we're expecting him to be fine, he's trained very well. Ben Gibson is over the worst. He'll join in with the development squad this week in a game, hopefully on Saturday.
"He's had a really good week's training, he's a super-fit professional anyway and he's looked after himself. I'm looking forward to having him back, of course, and I'm sure he's looking forward to being back after an interrupted start to his Burnley career.
"Nick Pope's been back on the grass with Billy Mercer, not training with the first team yet but making really good progress. So I'm really pleased with that and we're beginning to show strong signs of numbers coming back our way."