Taylor closing in on a return to Burnley squad

Matt Taylor fires Burnley level.

Matt Taylor fires Burnley level.

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Sean Dyche is hopeful long-term absentee Matt Taylor will be available for selection sooner rather than later.

Taylor has had a few issues with the heel problem which has kept him out since September, after making his return for the Development Squad.

The 33-year-old has played 45, 70 and 90 minutes in behind-closed-doors games, though Dyche said before the international break he would be likely to need another 90 before he is considered back in contention for a place in the squad.

And Dyche updated us on his progress: Matty Taylor’s still having a few ins and outs with his sore heel.

“He’s training mostly so we’re just being careful with him at the moment, but he will start to come back into the thinking.”

Dyche has no other injury concerns other than Kevin Long and Dean Marney, who both are recovering from cruciate knee ligament damage: “Other than Matty we’re pretty good. The longer term lads are going well and going to plan.”

That means Stephen Ward is available again, after not making the bench for the 2-0 defeat at Southampton a fortnight ago with a slight ankle knock.

Ward also missed training sessions with the Republic of Ireland last week, before returning on Friday, and earning a place on the bench for Sunday’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Poland.

Dyche explained: “Wardy is good, his ankle is good.

“His foot seems to have settled. He was involved the other night with Ireland and he has trained well back with us.

“We’re happy with that, it was a niggly one. He seems fine.

“We’re presuming that it’s over now.”

Ward missed three months of the season with a fractured ankle suffered at the start of December against Newcastle, returning as a substitute in the 1-0 win against Manchester City three weeks ago.