Clarets wait on skipper Heaton

Tom Heaton
Tom Heaton
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Burnley are hopeful skipper Tom Heaton will be fit to face Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday (kick-off 4 p.m.).

The 30-year-old withdrew from England duty on Sunday night with “a minor injury” and was sent home as a precaution ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia in Ljubljana tonight.

Sunderland’s former Preston North End loan keeper was called up by Gareth Southgate in his place, his first senior call, after impressing for the Black Cats this season, making seven appearances in league and cup.

Heaton’s Clarets teammate Michael Keane remains with the squad after also earning a first call-up last week, following the withdrawal of Stoke City right back Glen Johnson.

The pair were on the bench for Saturday evening’s 2-0 win over Malta at Wembley – the first time that Burnley have had two players in an England since June 1974 in Portugal, when Martin Dobson and goalkeeper Alan Stevenson were on duty for the Three Lions.

Heaton has started every league game for the Clarets since arriving on a free transfer from Bristol City in the summer of 2013 – a total of 137 games.

The only time he has sat out came in August 2013 when he was sent off in bizarre circumstances in a 2-0 defeat at Brighton, and was suspended for the following Capital One Cup tie against Preston at Turf Moor, with Alex Cisak filling in.

And he was on the bench for the Capital One Cup games against Sheffield Wednesday and Port Vale in 2014 and 2015, with Matt Gilks making his only appearances for the club.

l Record signing Jeff Hendrick also missed out on the Republic of Ireland’s 3-1 win in Moldova on Sunday night, though he travelled with Martin O’Neill’s team.

Hendrick was suspended for the tie after picking up a yellow card in the 1-0 win over Georgia on Thursday night.

The deadline day arrival trained with Ireland on Saturday afternoon, but was on the sidelines as a goal from Shane Long and a James McClean brace secured victory.