Burnley keeper Pope closing in on return to action
Nick Pope is closing in on a return to action.
The England international keeper has been out since the end of July, when he suffered a dislocated shoulder in Burnley’s Europa League second qualifying round first leg tie at Aberdeen.
He had targeted a December return, and boss Sean Dyche said: “We’re coming back to the group we think are a good group, and also the energy, belief and fitness levels, as regards injuries.
“Wardy (Stephen Ward) is a little bit away, he’s back on the grass working again, regular, not quite working with us.
“And Popey is getting on with it and getting stronger all the time.”
Asked whether he will get some gametime, Dyche added: “Soon, we’ll make that decision.”
Steven Defour and Johann Berg Gudmundsson could both be available for the trip to Arsenal on Saturday: “Both close but we couldn’t take the risk, we’re trying to get the squad back to full fitness – we know that’s another factor, the injury list we’ve had this season, for the first time since I’ve been here, as regards soft tissues.
“We’ve had a few serious knees but not so much the soft stuff. We can’t risk them, so hopefully they will be back in the thinking next week.”