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No Rush For Defour And Brady

Recovering duo may be the only ones to sit out Cork City opener

12 July 2018

Steven Defour is set to sit out the Clarets’ opening pre-season friendly and Robbie Brady may not be rushed back into action as he nears his eagerly-awaited return.

Burnley open their pre-season campaign at Cork City on Friday night (kick-off 7pm) after a week-long training camp in southern Ireland.

But Defour and Brady are likely to be given a little longer to make their comebacks, with Defour picking up a strain in training and Brady being eased back to full fitness after recovering from the knee surgery he underwent last December.

“Steven Defour has a niggly calf, so we are being careful with that one and, maybe, Robbie,” confirmed manager Sean Dyche.

“We will have to be careful with Robbie. He’s going really well but it is still early in his progress.

“He is training with the team, which is really good and he’s enjoying that.

“They are probably the only two we will be careful with. Everyone else should play some form of football tomorrow.”

Midfield play-maker Defour has also successfully recovered from a knee operation which has kept the former Belgium international out since January.

But while he must wait to get back into the fray, the bulk of his team-mates are expected to figure against Cork as Dyche’s side continues the countdown to their opening competitive fixture against Aberdeen in the Europa League in a fortnight’s time.

The game against Cork, who aren’t expected to field a full-strength side due to their Champions League qualifying schedule, will be an extension of the work they have been putting in on the training ground this week.

And Dyche confirmed that he intends to spread the workload in the friendly at Turner’s Cross, where the Clarets won 3-0 in a similar warm-up game five years ago.

“No-one, we hope, will have to play 90 minutes. We’ve got enough players for that not to happen,” added the Burnley boss.

“We’ve got another training session today (Thursday) and then a light session in the morning.

“But if the numbers are good probably the most anyone will play will be 60 minutes and most of them will play 45.

“It’s just about them getting that competitive feel of a game so we will look at that and use it wisely and then build on it next week.”

Defending champions Cork are currently second in the League of Ireland Premier Division with 10 games to go, but don’t return to domestic action until 27 July.

The side, managed by former playing favourite John Caulfield, lost 1-0 to Legia Warsaw in the home leg of their Champions League first qualifying-round tie on Tuesday night and go to Poland for the return leg next Tuesday night.

Former Hull City and Ipswich Town defender Damian Delaney, 36, returned to his hometown club earlier this summer after reaching the end of a contract with Crystal Palace and made his second debut in the narrow defeat to Legia.

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