Brighton team news: Graham Potter provides time frame on Lewis Dunk injury ahead of Brentford and Chelsea

Brighton and Hove Albion are preparing themselves for a lengthy spell without their influential skipper Lewis Dunk

Lewis Dunk sustained a knee injury during the 1-1 draw at West Ham earlier this month

Dunk, 30, has been unavailable for Albion since injuring his knee during the 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Dunk was unavailable for the 1-1 draw at Southampton and was badly missed as a much-changed Brighton team lost 1-0 to Wolves last time out at the Amex Stadium.

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The Albion captain has been ruled-out for the Boxing Day clash against Brentford and will also miss the trip to Chelsea on December 29 and Everton at Goodison Park on January 2.

There's a slim chance Dunk could return before the January international break but failing that, Watford on February 12 could be more realistic.

"We are looking at middle to end of January," admitted Potter. "An outside chance for Crystal Palace or Leicester.

"He had no surgery, so he is just going through a programme of injections and is in a knee brace at the moment.

"Once he comes out of that he can start do his rehab and train with the team.

"He is a quick heeler and he will run through walls to play football. Once he is there, he will be there quickly but we have to be careful with him as well."

Brighton are however boosted by the return of defender Shane Duffy from suspension and Adam Webster could also be in line to face Brentford as he makes encouraging progress from a calf injury.

Yves Bissouma will serve a one-match suspension having picked up his fifth caution of the season in the defeat against Wolves.

Danny Welbeck will finally be available as he's recovered from a hamstring injury sustained back in September during the 1-1 draw at Palace.

Neal Maupay and Pascal Gross also return following Covid related issues.