Burnley boss Vincent Kompany explains the dilemma he faces with injured stars Ian Maatsen, Manuel Benson, Jay Rodriguez and Darko Churlinov
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The Burnley boss is reluctant to give the green light to his injured stars too soon with a few members of the group slowly being nursed back to full fitness.
The 36-year-old Manchester City legend credited his medical team for working around the clock in supporting the recovery process of his players.
But the likes of Manuel Benson, Jay Rodriguez and Darko Churlinov won't be thrown back into the thick of the action in the Championship before the time is right.
The trio are on the mend, and closing in on a return, but Kompany has to assess whether that comes before or after next month's international break.
He said: “The more the international break approaches, the more I’m wondering whether we force them in before the international break or whether we give them a good run in and a good preparation towards an extremely difficult run of games we’ve got after the international break with Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Sheffield United and potentially Blackburn.
“There’s a tough run of fixtures after the international break again and so when we get closer to it, we’ll have to see if it’s worth it.
“Out medical staff have been working around the clock and doing extremely well bringing them back but we’ve got to make sure we stay competitive in the next few weeks.”
The three-time recipient of the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month gong is also likely to shuffle his pack for Wednesday night's FA Cup tie at Turf Moor.
Kompany has suggested that defender Hjalmar Ekdal might be one of those to make way with the Swede being thrown in at the deep end since his switch from Djurgardens.
He said: “We’ve had a few guys who I just mentioned, but Ekdal is still technically in pre-season and has just been hit with like six games in 10 days or something! I think he’s got the oxygen tank at home next to his bed!
“For these type of situations we’ll have to be able to use the squad a little bit and make sure that we don’t lose more players due to injury. We’ve been a little bit unfortunate with freak events."
The ex-Belgium international, however, couldn't shed any light on Ian Maatsen's condition after the Chelsea loan ace was stretchered off with a shoulder injury in the win against Huddersfield Town.
The youngster provided some reassurance on social media when confirming that his withdrawal wasn't down to anything too serious, but Kompany was still looking to get clarity on the extent of his setback.
“I’ll find out now as I’m driving to the training ground," he concluded.