SEAN Dyche has backed Tom Heaton's professionalism to help him as he begins his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery.

Dyche declared Wednesday's surgery on Heaton's dislocated shoulder as a success but the 31-year-old is still set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Heaton has missed just three league games for the Clarets since his arrival at Turf Moor in May 2013, all last season, but he will now be absent for several months while he recovers from the dislocated shoulder he sustained in the win against Crystal Palace last weekend.

“It was successful in its immediacy, I'm told that went very well," Dyche said of the operation.

"The surgeon, someone we've known for a while, did a good job as far as I know. Tom was good afterwards, I haven't spoken to him yet as he was a bit groggy last night.

"The physio's kept me informed. I'll speak to him this afternoon.

"We all know the extent to which Tom's professionalism goes, and he's as good as it gets. As regards rehab, as long as the surgery heals properly, which we've got no reason to think it won't, he'll be on top of that because he's ultra professional."

Dyche said Burnley would not take a risk in rushing Heaton back, especially with the stress a goalkeeper's shoulders are under.

Asked about the expected recovery time, Dyche said: "They are varied depending on the body's natural healing state and how quickly you can strengthen.

"I've always worked on the idea that players have to be right the first time, if you can you get them fit, no risks involved, they crack on without breaking down.

"That would be the first thought, get him as right as possible, back to where he was really. There will not be any thought about rushing people back because in the long run it just doesn't work.

"The early signs are very good, very happy with the surgery and I'm due to speak to him this afternoon to make sure he's well in himself.

"Only the odd keeper are unlucky to get a lot of injuries. He will be fine with that, he understands the role and that it can happen.

"He's had a fantastic run of it not happening to him.This is just a blip hopefully he'll get through it and we'll move forward."

Nick Pope will deputise for Heaton while he's out injured and Dyche said it was a big opportunity for the former Charlton stopper to impress.

"He's been working with some top-class keepers, Billy Mercer is doing a great job, with Paul Robinson here (last season) which will rub off on him. He's been improving all the time.

"The main measure is when you play, you've still got to see improvement on a daily basis and I think we have seen that. He delivered a very, very good performance (against Palace) in a tough game, an awkward game for us.

"He's got a chance to continue and show what he can do. That's a great opportunity for him."

Former Manchester United 'keeper Anders Lindegaard has been training with the Clarets this week and Dyche said he could be offered a deal.

“He's come in to spend a few days with us and enjoy what we do," he said. "We'll speak to him accordingly. Ideally in the perfect world you want three, maybe a younger keeper under that as well. That's what we're looking to do."