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Club News

Fighting Fit For Pre-Season

Steven Defour and Robbie Brady on target for return to action

5 June 2018

The Clarets are on course for a clean bill of health going into pre-season as they build up to a landmark campaign.

Sean Dyche’s squad will be aiming to hit the ground running at the start of next month as they prepare to tackle the joint challenges of Europe and the Premier League in 2018/19.

And the good news is that Dyche’s resources look likely to be back to full strength, with Steven Defour and Robbie Brady putting in the hard yards to return in time from long-term injury absences.

James Tarkowski has also come through successful surgery on a hernia problem that forced him to withdraw from England’s stand-by list for the World Cup.

And Ben Mee and Ashley Barnes have also recovered from injuries that forced them to miss the end of a season which saw Burnley finish seventh in the Premier League to secure a place in the Europa League and the Clarets’ first taste of European competition for 51 years.

Having been an ever-present for the first 24 games of the last league campaign, Defour hasn’t played since January due to a knee injury which required surgery.

But the midfield play-maker is recovering well and is already back at the Barnfield Training Centre working on his continued rehabilitation with the Clarets’ medical staff.

Head physio Ally Beattie (above) told the club website: “He’s done quite a lot of his rehab back in Belgium, which we’re happy with, with the Belgium national team physio, who we have a good relationship with.

“That works well for him and now he’s back with us for the next few weeks for grass-based sessions, strength sessions, balance sessions and stability sessions and really he should be okay for pre-season.

“Obviously we will monitor him and we might just change what he does slightly in pre-season, in terms of loading and modify that, but he looks really good and nice and strong.

“He should be able to join in for the majority of pre-season.”

Brady has also been reporting for duty since the season ended to continue his own comeback from knee surgery needed to repair a patellar tendon tear the winger suffered at Leicester City last December.

“He looks nice and sharp. He has natural agility and is doing really well,” added Beattie.

“Phil (Pomeroy) has been working with him a lot and, if anything, it’s been reining Robbie in, rather than having to push him.

“He will be pretty much the same (as Steven).”

Tarkowski reported for England duty at the end of an outstanding season for the centre-back and spent a week in preparation for the World Cup Finals as part of Gareth Southgate’s squad.

But an on-going hernia problem ultimately proved too big an obstacle to overcome for the 25-year-old, who went under the knife last weekend to be ready for the start of the new campaign.

“I think we did it the right way,” explained Beattie. “We knew it needed doing but the gaffer said he wouldn’t pull someone out of the World Cup. It might be his only chance to go.

“He went along to England and was struggling a bit. He’s had it done and he should be absolutely fine for pre-season. He’s good.”

Tarkowski’s defensive side-kick Mee missed the final seven games of last season with a shin problem.

But a period of rest has cleared up the issue, while Barnes is expected to get the all-clear when he re-visits a specialist on Wednesday for a further assessment of the shoulder injury the striker sustained in the penultimate game of the campaign at Arsenal.

“He feels brilliant now. It’s pain-free. He shouldn’t have a problem. He’s all good.

“Touch wood, we should have everyone in for pre-season,” Beattie added.

Steven Defour talks about his injury, his retirement from international football and his hopes for next season in a special interview to be shown on Clarets Player HD on Wednesday.

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