Burnley fans feared the worst when Chris McCann limped off following a challenge from Sunderland defender Michael Turner in Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Black Cats, and scans have shown that they were correct to be worried.
McCann has damaged the medial ligaments in his knee, meaning it will be at least two months before he can play again, with him unlikely to be available until Christmas.
The news is a blow to Owen Coyle, who has built his midfield around the young Irishman since his arrival at the club two years ago.
Coyle told the club's official website: "It's fair to say that Chris has suffered a bad injury and I would expect a minimum of two to three months.
"He has damaged his medial ligament and it will certainly be a couple of months before he is back. It's very unfortunate and a body blow for Chris. That's where my thoughts are because whenever he has been available he has been in my team.
"I think the world of him, both as a player and a lad and the good thing is he is at such a young age that he will come back better and stronger for it."McCann's injury opens the door for Joey Gudjonsson and Kevin McDonald to stake their claims for regular first team football, and they may both be given their chance to shine in tomorrow night's third round Carling Cup clash with Roses rivals Barnsley at Oakwell.
This article was written for FansOnline Burnley.