Sean Dyche welcomes Stephen Ward back to the first team squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Chelsea.
The Clarets defender has been sidelined since December with a fracture of the foot sustained against Newcastle United at Turf Moor.
But the Republic of Ireland international, 29, has made a quicker-than-expected recovery and looks set to boost Sean Dyche’s numbers ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.
Dyche confirmed: “Wardy has made great progress; probably quicker that we thought, through his own pushing to get fit again.
“He feels really good, so he will come back into the squad at least.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Dean Marney has undergone successful surgery to repair a cruciate ligament knee injury.
Marney had the operation on Wednesday, after injuring himself in the Turf moor clash against WBA earlier this month.
Dyche added: Dean is really good actually. I spoke to our physio, Ally Beattie, and apparently it went really well.
“The specialist was really pleased with it and if you look around at these type of injuries he will now be out for eight to nine months as the norm.
“As with Sam, we are not going to put firm timescales on it. It’s a flexible period and we don’t force people back to fitness.
“We want them back once and we know he has a desire to be back fit.
“But Kevin Long is going through the same thing and making progress, so I’m sure they will be good company for each other in the coming months.”
Elsewhere, wide man Matt Taylor is making good progress from a troublesome Achilles problem, and young defender Cameron Dummigan is also on the road back fitness following surgery.
Dyche explained: “Matty has a couple of upsets on the way back, but he was back on the grass today and feeling better.
“He hasn’t had a game yet, but we are looking to do that as he keeps progressing.
“Equally, Cameron Dummigan is making good progress again now after an operation a couple of months ago.
“He’s had a couple of setbacks and we’re looking forward to having him back in the group.
Other than that, we have a few aches and pains ahead of the weekend, but noting too serious.”
A full preview of the trip to Chelsea will follow on Friday morning on www.burnleyfc.com