Danny Drinkwater could make his 100th Premier league appearance this weekend as Sean Dyche ponders adding the midfielder to the Clarets squad.
The Premier League-winning midfielder has been sat on 99 games since his last top-flight game, for parent club Chelsea, in March 2018.
But after regaining full fitness following an ankle injury, boss Dyche insists the 29-year-old is in his thoughts ahead of Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace.
The Clarets boss, who is without midfield lynchpin Ashley Westwood through suspension, said: “I think Danny is getting to as a close as you can get.
“He’s had a number of reserve games now, which is important because he hasn’t had much football.
“His sharpness is improving but we all know there's nothing like the real thing.
“You get judged on the games and you get players to a level and they get themselves to a level, of course, by taking on the work.
"But his training levels have improved and I think he's feeling better, so he comes into the thinking.”
Drinkwater has so far made just one appearance for the Clarets since his deadline day signing, against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup three months ago.
And Dyche insists the midfielder is desperate to get back in action, following a spell on the sidelines caused by an off-field incident in late August.
“There is an element of Danny getting himself back on track. I’ve spoken to him about the bigger picture to him and he is desperate to play,” said Dyche, who also has striker Matej Vydra back in contention this weekend following a hip injury.
“Danny has worked hard and trying to get back. An incident has happened and he’s had to recover from that, but we are not going to push someone who is not quite there and I wouldn’t force anything on any player here, whether they are on loan or under contract.”