PLAYER of the year Sam Vokes is facing further surgery to repair damage to his shoulder, after it emerged the striker suffered a dislocation in early November.
The Burnley striker suffered the injury in the away game with Millwall, in which he scored in a 2-2 draw.
Physio Ally Beattie managed to put the shoulder back in its socket quickly. And not only was Vokes able to carry on in the game but he remained an ever-present up until having his season cut short by suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament early in the game at home to Leicester City at the end of March.
Wales international Vokes must wait until he no longer requires the use of crutches before he can have the operation to repair minor tissue damage.
The procedure is likely to take place in the next fortnight, and a six to eight-week recovery period will coincide with his rehabilitation from knee surgery.
But the striker is not viewing his latest surgery as a setback. Instead he is considering himself fortunate that he has the summer months to rest and recuperate.
“It could have happened during the season and meant missing four months of it,” said Vokes.
“Instead it’s three months before another ball is kicked in a league situation.
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“I’ll have the operation to get it (shoulder) right. I was able to play with it – being the upper body it is a lot easier than the lower limbs.
“And it wasn’t an extreme one, that’s why I carried on.
“It’s all come at once but it’s something that’s needed to be done and won’t affect me with my knee at all.”
Vokes secured a player of the year double at the end of season awards, first being the overall winner at the supporters’ clubs’ event, then pipping strike partner Danny Ings to the main prize at the club’s official presentation for a season in which he scored 21 goals – 20 in the Championship to help fire the Clarets into the Premier League.
Ings picked up the players’ player of the year award.
“I voted for him and he voted for me. Strikers’ union,” said Vokes. “He’s been fantastic all year and got some great and important goals for us.”
Although no timescale has been put on Vokes’ return to action Burnley will start the Premier League season without the 24-year-old.
As a result they are on the lookout for attacking reinforcements and are understood to be keeping tabs on Dwight Gayle.
Crystal Palace are ready to offload the striker just 12 months after signing him from Peterborough United for £4.5million cash, plus lucrative add-ons.
Palace were thought to be prepared to consider offers around the £3m mark, but Gayle’s double from the bench in Monday night’s dramatic late draw with Liverpool is expected to have increased that valuation nearer their initial £4.5m up front payment.