Vokes closing in on a return

Nearly there: Sam Vokes, pictured scoring at Bolton last season, is set to get 90 minutes under his belt at Middlesbrough tomorrow
Nearly there: Sam Vokes, pictured scoring at Bolton last season, is set to get 90 minutes under his belt at Middlesbrough tomorrow

Striker Sam Vokes will continue his comeback tomorrow - but Clarets boss Sean Dyche feels a first team return at the weekend is unlikely.

Vokes has had two run outs for the development squad, as he reaches the end of a long road back from a cruciate knee ligament injury sustained at the end of March.

He scored against Carlisle United in a 45-minute outing, before netting a double at Sheffield United as he completed 70 minutes last Wednesday.

The Wales international is due to feature at Middlesbrough tomorrow as he looks to get 90 minutes under his belt

But, asked whether the Southampton fan could be back in contention to face his boyhood team, Dyche admitted: “I doubt it but we’ll see.

“It’s important that he’s ready, and forget about when I think he’s ready, it’s important that he’s ready.

“We’re not putting the reins on him, it’s just when he’s ready.

“You never know, that’s why I said it’s important that he’s ready, managers and coaches can make decisions too early, you can leave them too late.

“I always think the players know when they’re ready, I certainly did when I was a player, I wasn’t as talented as him but I had a good mentality and I knew when I was right and ready.

“He’ll know and when he’s ready he’ll let me know.”

Meanwhile, Dyche revealed left back Stephen Ward suffered a fractured ankle against Newcastle United last Tuesday night.

Ward took a kick to his right ankle from Magpies’ wideman Yoan Gouffran, and the Republic of Ireland international was stretchered off.

Dyche said on Saturday: “He’s seen a specialist but he resees him on Monday (yesterday).

“He’s got a minor fracture in the bottom of his ankle.

“It’s pretty straightforward, obviously he can’t play but it’s pretty straightforward and it’s just a time issue now to get that well again.”

Ward, a summer signing from Wolves, made six successive starts after displacing Ben Mee.

Mee came on for Ward against Newcastle, and was a starter in the 2-0 defeat at QPR on Saturday.