CHARLIE Austin is not expected to be fit to face Crystal Palace tomorrow.

The Clarets’ 23-goal top scorer has been sidelined since limping out of the home defeat to Leicester City with a hamstring injury three games ago.

Martin Paterson is also doubtful after sustaining a similar injury in the New Year’s Day win at Sheffield Wednesday, while Ben Mee is still recovering from knee ligament damage.

But Chris McCann could return, after also struggling with a hamstring problem.

“Charlie and Pato are touch and go, but probably not,” said Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

“Chris McCann has a very good chance after training (yesterday) so we're hoping there's no reaction to that.

“Ben Mee won't be there.

“We've had a tough 10 days of knocks and niggles.

“We've left them with the physios and brought them into the group later on to monitor them.

“With Dean Marney last week we decided he was fit after he came into the group on Thursday and Friday.”

Dyche feels, however, they have coped fairly well with the absences.

“We've had good results over Christmas still with a couple of ins and outs and changes,” he said.

“Barnsley was a different affair because it was slightly taken out of our hands, but there have been some good performances from the people who have come into the team.

“Yet again they've put themselves in our thoughts and it's important they do that.

“There are more people fighting for places, it's really important we get that.”

Burnley are not yet set to make a move in the January transfer market, but are believed to be monitoring Reading striker Simon Church, who is the subject of a £250,000 bid from Millwall.