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Defour Misses Swansea Trip As Agyei Waits

2 March 2017

Steven Defour will miss the Clarets’ trip to Swansea as he continues his recovery from injury.

The midfielder is back in full training after missing four games with a hamstring problem but is not yet ready for a Premier League return.

“He won’t be involved, but he’s had a much better week,” confirmed boss Sean Dyche.

“He’s been with us today (Thursday) for the first time, as regards literally the first team.

“He’s been training on and off with us as he’s come back from his injury, so they’re much stronger signs from Steven, so we’re pleased for him and pleased for us.”

The continuing absence of Defour is offset by the return from a three-match ban of Jeff Hendrick for Saturday’s visit to the Liberty Stadium.

Jeff Hendrick returns following his sending-off at Watford last month

But winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson remains sidelined with a knee injury and Ashley Barnes is also missing as he serves a one-game suspension for his dismissal at Hull City last Saturday.

Barnes’ enforced omission means young striker Dan Agyei is likely to move one place up the pecking order.

The 19-year-old striker made it as far as the bench in a Premier League game for the 1-1 draw at Hull and followed that up with two goals in the Development Squad’s Premier League Cup win over Hull City on Monday.

Agyei has first-team experience under his belt from a loan spell at Coventry City during the first half of the season.

In an ideal world, the former AFC Wimbledon youngster may been loaned out again to further his education.

But loan rules now don’t allow for a re-call between transfer windows and Dyche is happy to see him developing within the Clarets’ first-team environment and pushing for a senior debut.

“He’s had some first-team football and now it’s about working with our group every day in training,” added the Clarets’ chief.

Dan Agyei got his first taste of Premier League match-day duty at Hull

“He’s still played a couple of Development games but it’s mainly the training and working against Michael Keane, Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Kevin Long – really good center-halves.

“To play against them is going to do him more good, without a shadow of a doubt, and, of course, be ready for his chance.

“If we can keep him involved and he gets a chance, fantastic.

“He’s got a nice manner about him. He wants to learn. He’s getting used to the physical side of first-team football and the pace of the game.

“All those things he will adapt to, and he’s doing nicely.”

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