Burnley striker Ashley Barnes will miss resumption of the Premier League - but hopes to add to his goal tally before the end of the season
Clarets striker Ashley Barnes will miss the resumption of the Premier League season.
But he is determined to shrug off some niggling issues surrounding the double hernia operation he had before lockdown, and try and add to the six goals he has so far this term.
Barnes has been out since the defeat to Aston Villa at Turf Moor on New Year's Day, although he got a behind closed doors outing in before the season was shut down.
However, he explained that the three-month gap hasn't gone entirely to plan in terms of his rehabilitation.
Burnley return to action at Manchester City on Monday, June 22nd, and Barnes, speaking to the Football, Albion and Me podcast https://anchor.fm/footballthealbionandme https://twitter.com/FootyAlbionMe said: "It's been very, very difficult, for me personally, I'm still injured, so hopefully I shouldn't be too much longer
"Just before lockdown I managed to play one reserve game, hoping I would be back.
"Then we had to stop so I couldn't get any treatment and didn't know what I needed, but I continued to train up until a week before we were due back, and I could get in and see the physios.
"It has just been put back a little bit because I was still getting a nagging nerve pain and stuff. It was quite frustrating because you want to be back with the lads as soon as possible, but unfortunately that wasn't the case for me.
"Hopefully it won't be too long and I can play some part before the end of the season."
Barnes hit four in the first three games, and added another two in November, but was playing through the problem, before succumbing to surgery.
He had hoped to better last season's tally of 13 goals, and admits it might be a long shot now: "I have got better and better each season, unfortunately this season might be the only one I don't top it off with another better season.
"The goal tally started so well, unfortunately this injury...I couldn't get through too much, I hoped to get to the summer, but come January, I was too weak. I remember one game against Aston Villa on New Year's Day, I literally was pushed over once - some may say I go down too easily, but I was just touched and I had no power or strength to stay up and face-planted the floor.
"I was like 'this isn't right'. I had the scan and needed the double hernia operation.
"You think it's not going to be long, a couple of the lads had it, and it's one of those things, you have ups and downs. There's been a few different issues with it playing up, and hopefully it won't be too long and I can get back and finish the season, hopefully with more goals, better than last season's tally."