CHARLIE Austin could be out for at least a fortnight after lasting less than 10 minutes in Burnley’s 1-0 defeat to Leicester City.
The 23-goal top scorer was doubtful before Saturday’s game after going off with a tight hamstring in the 2-0 Boxing Day win over Derby County.
But manager Sean Dyche gave his marksman every chance of retaining his place and the side, opting not to name the team until Austin had completed a late fitness check.
After coming through the tests at around 1pm on Saturday, the striker declared himself fit to play.
But there was barely a minute onthe clock when the 23-year-old pulled up chasing a long pass down the right, and he limped off in the eighth minute.
“It was a strange one because he had cleared himself. We value the player’s input and he said he was fine but then it just tightened up,” Dyche explained.
“But the difference between having a fitness test and playing once the adrenaline starts running is obviously considerable.
“It’s just tightened up on him so we had to get him off straight away.
“It was one of those things.
“You can only ask the player and they can only do a fitness test, so I’m not annoyed with him, not remotely.
“I value honesty in players and if they were ready to get the Burnley shirt on and go and play it’s a hard one to not let them.”
In his post-match briefing Dyche was unclear as to the nature of the problem or how long he expected Austin to be sidelined for.
“It will take 24 hours or so to let things settle down,” he said.
“Until the medical team tell me I don’t know what the timescale is.
“It was just a tightness in his glut (gluteus maximus). He was happy to play and then it didn’t quite work out.”
Early indications suggest the former Swindon striker will at least miss tomorrow’s New Year’s Day game at Sheffield Wednesday and Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie at Barnsley, who sacked manager Keith Hill after a 3-1 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers left them bottom of the Championship.
It is possible Austin could also be sidelined for the visit of Crystal Palace on January 12.