Boss Sean Dyche could have close to a full hand to select from if and when the Clarets get the chance to try and cement their top-10 Premier League place
Burnley went into the shutdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic with four players recovering from injury in strikers Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez, winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson and right-back Matt Lowton.
Rodriguez started the final game – a 1-1 draw against Tottenham on 7 March – before picking up a knee injury which is on the mend and responding well to the personalised training routine he is under-going in isolation.
Barnes had played a behind-closed-doors friendly against Bradford City before the lockdown, while Gudmundsson is upbeat about his fitness levels following a couple of muscle problems than have kept him out since the turn of the year.
And Lowton is also hopeful that the break will give him the time to get over the knee injury that last saw him feature in the Clarets’ goalless draw against Arsenal at the start of February as Dyche’s men started to piece together their current seven-match unbeaten run.
“Doing the treadmill and the work Ali (head physio Alasdair Beattie) has sent me it’s fine. Hopefully come the football it’s fine as well,” Lowton said.
“Obviously, it’s a lot different, changing direction, tackling and jumping, things like that.
“It’s fine at the minute and I am just hoping when we get back in the physios will assess it – we will probably do a couple of days of dynamic movements and things like that to make sure it’s fine – and hopefully I can go back into training.
“The longer it goes on, my knee has got more time to recover. While the lads are missing football, quite selfishly I am looking at the time my knee has got to get back to full strength so that I am ready to go.”
No date has yet been given for a possible Premier League return, although the intention remains to complete the league programme.
Players are likely to need around three weeks’ work to get back up to speed before matches start, which will also help the likes of Barnes, Rodriguez, Gudmundsson and Lowton further build up their fitness levels with nine games still to go in a potentially condensed period of time.
The squad is currently training from home under guidance from the Clarets’ sports science and physio staff.
And while the workload has been carefully mapped out, Lowton – who like a number of the Burnley players have also tackled the problems of the shutdown by supporting charitable causes near to where they live – admitted there have been some unforeseen challenges.
“I have had a bit of equipment sent out by the club as well to try and keep me ticking over and keep my knee improving,” he told Clarets Player HD.
“I bought a treadmill which was quite interesting because when it came it was German.
“I opened the instructions and they were in German, so that was interesting.
“Luckily enough it was quite easy to put together and we just used the pictures but then when I went to plug it in the plug was European, so I had to go back on and order a European plug adaptor!”
Watch the full extended chat with ‘Lowts’ on the video above.