CONSISTENT Claret Ben Mee is facing a spell on the sidelines after suffering medial knee ligament damage in the derby.
The left back picked up the injury during the 1-1 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, but carried on to complete the full game.
However, the extent of the problem became clearer yesterday, with the former Manchester City defender reporting a ligament tear.
“Managed to tear my medial ligament in my knee midway through the game on Sunday,” said the 23-year-old, announcing the news via his Twitter account.
He added that he expected to be out for between four to six weeks and that he was ‘gutted’, but Burnley manager Sean Dyche was reluctant to put a timeframe on Mee’s absence.
“It’s a blow for Ben and we will have to give the knee a chance to settle down and then fully assess the injury,” Dyche said.
“We are hoping it will be sooner, rather than later, but we are expecting it will be weeks, rather than days.
“But I don’t look at problems, I try to look at solutions and it’s a great chance for someone else to step in and show what they’re about.”
It is not the first time that Mee has missed out through injury this season since establishing himself at left back.
The former England Under 21 international has only recently come back from a foot problem, which forced him to sit out back-to-back defeats to Ipswich Town and Charlton Athletic.
Mee also missed the 4-0 humbling at Cardiff City before Dyche’s appointment at the end of October.
Burnley have been on the losing side only once in the league when Mee has started.
Nevertheless, boss Dyche will see the defender’s absence as an opportunity as an opportunity for someone else and make the most of the competition for places that has been prominent since the former Watford boss’s appointment.
Danny Lafferty stepped in for Mee when he was last ruled out, and the Northern Ireland international would be the favourite again, but he will be pushed for the place by on-loan Reading left back Joseph Mills.