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Skipper Eyes Rangers Return

8 January 2015

Seen Dyche plans to make a late call on whether skipper Jason Shackell can resume skipper duties against QPR at Turf Moor this weekend.

The Clarets captain missed his first game of Dyche’s managerial reign in Monday’s FA Cup tie against Spurs, after suffering a calf injury at Newcastle on New Year’s Day.

And Shackell, along with fit-again defensive colleague Michael Duff, will now look to prove his fitness on Friday as the Clarets make their final preparations for the visit of Harry Redknapp’s Londoners.

Dyche said: “Jason was on the grass today with the medical side and hopefully he will be on the grass with us tomorrow (Friday), which means we can make a judgement call on him.

“Michael has also had a good week’s training, both physically demanding and so he comes back into the fold at least. Whether he is on the bench, we’ll see.”

The Clarets will also be boosted by the return to health of midfielder David Jones, who also missed Monday’s FA Cup tie through an illness bug that had previously affected fellow midfielder Dean Marney.

And the Clarets boss also had good news on stricken defender Kevin Long, who ruptured his cruciate last week, along with long-term injured duo Matt Taylor and Stephen Ward.

Dyche added: “In the long term, the good news in terms of Kevin Long is that he has had is operation on the cruciate ligament and there was no further damage in there, so we are pleased with that.

“Matty is back on the grass, which is good. He will still be a little while yet though, and Stephen is coming on nicely and is on track and seeing the specialist next Wednesday for an update.”

We will have a full preview of Saturday’s big Turf Moor clash on the official website on Friday morning.

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