HITC Sport understands from sources close to the club that Burnley striker Ashley Barnes will be out of action until 2016 after suffering a serious knee injury.
Burnley feared Barnes could be set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines when he was forced off early in the 1-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend following a clash with Fabian Delph.
Scans have now confirmed Burnley's worst fears, that Barnes has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury, meaning he faces a lengthy period on the treatment table.
Barnes impressed for Burnley in the Premier League this season, scoring five goals, and he was believed to be a target for several clubs this summer who were looking to capitalise on Burnley's relegation by luring the 25-year-old away from Turf Moor, but those moves will now be shelved as a result of his knee injury.
The news is a blow for Burnley as Barnes' injury leaves them short of options in attack, with Danny Ings set to leave next month when his contract expires.
Fellow striker Sam Vokes missed the start of last season with a ruptured cruciate ligament injury and with Barnes now sidelined until next year, it means Sean Dyche will have to bring in some new faces to bolster his attacking options.