Burnley boss Sean Dyche is unsure whether Nick Pope will be fit for next month’s European Championship campaign with England.
The Clarets goalkeeper is a doubt for Euro 2020 due to an impending operation on his knee.
The 29-year-old will undergo surgery on Tuesday – the day England manager Gareth Southgate names his squad for the tournament, which begins on June 11.
Although Jordan Pickford is widely recognised by most as England’s number one, Pope was in possession of the gloves having started all three games in the most recent international break.
“It’s nothing too serious, we don’t think, but it still needed doing,” said Dyche after having to leave Pope out of Burnley’s final Premier League game of the season against Sheffield United – a 1-0 defeat at Bramall Lane.
“He was trying to get right for this game to give it a test but didn’t quite come through in training, so he and we have had to make a judgment call on that.
“It’s mainly down to him. It was awkward and sore, there’s some cartilage and he could feel a clicking in his knee. He’s had to take the decision to have the operation, it’s a tough decision, and we don’t know how long it will take to settle.
“He will have that done this week – Tuesday I think it is – and hopefully it will settle down for a quick recovery.
“Will he be fit for the Euros? That will be down to the surgeon. We will have to see after the surgery.”
Pope missed Burnley’s final three matches of the season – all of which ended in defeat for the Clarets.
“We have petered out after the Fulham game and we have missed two key players again today in Popey and Ben Mee. It’s been the story of our season, but when we have had all our players fit we have looked a very good side,” said Dyche, whose team finished 17th in the table.
“But I can’t be too hard on the players as they have put in a lot of effort and given everything and we have just lacked a bit of edge recently.
“These players give a lot to the cause and the side has been very stretched for much of the season as we have had so many injuries with such a small squad. But we still have 39 points which is not to be scoffed at in the Premier League.”
Sheffield United finished a miserable season with a victory in front of their own supporters at Bramall Lane.
David McGoldrick, this week voted the club’s player of the year, scored his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign midway through the first half as the Blades won for just the seventh time in the league this season.
Three of those victories came in the nine matches under the stewardship of interim boss Paul Heckingbottom, who is likely to now return to his role with the under-23 squad.
The relegated Blades, who finished bottom of the table, have known their fate for some time and will now look to appoint a permanent successor to Chris Wilder, who left in March after just over four and a half years in charge.
Heckingbottom again called for a quick appointment now that the season has concluded and the 43-year-old believes the new manager could enjoy a successful Sky Bet Championship campaign if he keeps the current squad together.
“I’ve had a brief chat with (chief executive) Stephen Bettis and we have an under-23 final tomorrow that we want to win, then I will be getting my feet up and getting away and spending some time with my family,” said Heckingbottom on his own future.
“I know where my future is, I didn’t come here to be a manager, so I’m hoping we make a decision and appointment as it’s really important we do and really important that everyone understands who will be taking the team next season – there’s players and staff need talking to.
“If we keep the group together we will have a great chance next season. I believe this group can do it and I believe whoever will be in charge is taking over a good hungry group, there is certainly enough quality in there.”