Injured trio progressing well

Burnley's Dean Marney under pressure from Aston Villa's Jores Okore''Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport''Football - Barclays Premiership - Burnley v Aston Villa - Saturday 29th November 2014 - Turf Moor - Burnley''� CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

Burnley's Dean Marney under pressure from Aston Villa's Jores Okore''Photographer Rich Linley/CameraSport''Football - Barclays Premiership - Burnley v Aston Villa - Saturday 29th November 2014 - Turf Moor - Burnley''� CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

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Clarets trio Dean Marney, Ashley Barnes and Kevin Long are progressing well on their long road back to fitness.

But boss Sean Dyche is typically reticent to set return dates for any of them, as they recover from cruciate knee ligament injuries.

Sam Vokes missed the first half of last season with a similar problem, returning on Boxing Day after nine months out - six days before Long picked up his injury at Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

A month or so later, Marney suffered knee damage against West Brom, and in the final game of the season at Aston Villa, Barnes became the club’s latest cruciate victim, also damaging his medial ligament at the same time.

Barnes has undergone successful surgery, and Dyche hopes, if there is any good to come out of the club’s dreadful fortune, that all three players can help spur each other on, on what could otherwise be a lonely recuperation period.

Dyche said: “The surgery side was straightforward, he’s a tough lad, and we knew it was likely to be serious because he just gets on with things.

“But he’s in good hands, and if there is a positive, they’re all behind each other, so they’ve all seen the process and they’ll all be thick as thieves.

“At least they’ll have someone to talk to and get them through because it’s a long road to recovery.

“I never do time scales, you have to be open minded, but they’re making good progress.”

Dyche spoke recently about Burnley’s misfortune regarding cruciate injuries, insisting they are an “anomaly”, and certainly not a by-product of the Clarets’ much-vaunted work rate.

He explained: “It’s a freak situation– I’ve never seen anything like it.

“When you look at Vokesy, no one near him, Dean Marney had minimal contact, Longy jumped in the air and twisted his knee, and Barnesy, someone fell on him.

“They are the uncontrollables, you look at the way we work here, it’s well known about the strength of the group physically, and our soft tissue injury record was up again last season to an all-time high virtually.

“The only ones were Matty Taylor, outside of the cruciates, and you can’t do a lot about them, so it really is an anomaly, and we obviously hope that doesn’t come round again.

“It’s bizarre, it was a silly, not vicious challenge on Barnesy that didn’t need to be made, he lands on our player and he does his cruciate. You can’t imagine that would happen three times in a season and one at the end of the previous one.”