Burnley’s Lyle Foster living in specialist care and taking football break

Burnley have announced forward Lyle Foster is currently living in specialist care and will be taking a break from football.

Foster has made seven Premier League appearances for Vincent Kompany's side this season, contributing three goals and two assists. However, the South African has not played since the Clarets' 3-0 away loss to Brentford in October.

His club revealed Foster is currently receiving treatment for mental health issues he has been suffering from. In an official statement, Burnley informed their fans and the football world he will be away from the pitch for an indefinite period.

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A statement from Burnley said: “Recently Lyle let us know that he continues to live with issues around mental well-being and has reached out for help. He is currently in the care of specialists – giving him the support and care he needs to help him back to full health.

"With the love and support of his family and everyone at Burnley Football Club we will do all we can to provide everything he needs to get better." Kompany also added: “We are wishing him a speedy recovery and wishing him to be in a better place by the time he is ready to come back to us.

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“We were very fortunate that Lyle had been very open with us. From the moment he’d been open with us we were able to act. As soon as he said it and showed signs of how severe it was for him, straight away the entire support team within the club mobilised and we made sure he could focus on his own recovery. In moments like this you have to put the human first and that’s what we did.”

Foster had previously opened up on his battle with mental health, speaking about his time at Belgian side Westerlo. "I was in my apartment all by myself. I realised I just felt this huge sense of loneliness," he said. "I felt like I couldn't really express myself with all of my team-mates. It was a lot more difficult to be around them and do things footballers are supposed to do.

Foster has missed Burnley's last three Premier League matches against Bournemouth, Everton and Crystal Palace. He began his career with South African giants Orlando Pirates, where he went on to earn a move to AS Monaco. He he also turned out for Cercle Brugge in Belgium and Vitoria de Guimaraes in Portugal, before returning to Belgium to play for Westerloo.

He moved to Burnley in January for an initial £8m and played a key role in Burnley's seamless return to the Premier League.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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