Burnley receive fitness boost ahead of pre-season

Burnley's Steven Defour''Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport''The Premier League - Burnley v Manchester United - Saturday 20th January 2018 - Turf Moor - Burnley''World Copyright � 2018 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
Burnley's Steven Defour''Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport''The Premier League - Burnley v Manchester United - Saturday 20th January 2018 - Turf Moor - Burnley''World Copyright � 2018 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
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Burnley are expected to welcome a number of long-term absentees back for the start of pre-season training.

Robbie Brady, out since the start of December, and Steven Defour, who underwent surgery at the beginning of February, are both closing in on a return after knee problems.

Ashley Barnes, who sat out the final game with a shoulder injury, and Ben Mee, who missed the last seven matches with a shin injury, are also fit and well.

And James Tarkowski is recovering from hernia surgery which forced him out of England’s stand by pool for the World Cup.

Pre-season training will start slightly earlier than usual, with the Europa League qualifying rounds to come after an historic season saw the Clarets finish seventh, their highest finish in the top flight since 1974.

Defour started the first Premier League games before a knee injury forced him out for the remainder of the campaign, but, after combining his rehabilitation with time back in Belgium and here at the Barnfield Training Centre, head physio Ally Beattie (above) told the club website: “He’s done quite a lot of his rehab back in Belgium, which we’re happy with, with the Belgium national team physio, who we have a good relationship with.

“That works well for him and now he’s back with us for the next few weeks for grass-based sessions, strength sessions, balance sessions and stability sessions and really he should be okay for pre-season.

“Obviously we will monitor him and we might just change what he does slightly in pre-season, in terms of loading and modify that, but he looks really good and nice and strong.

“He should be able to join in for the majority of pre-season.”

Brady was back on the grass before the season ended, after a patellar tendon tear suffered at Leicester City at the beginning of December, and Beattie added: “He looks nice and sharp. He has natural agility and is doing really well.

“Phil (Pomeroy) has been working with him a lot and, if anything, it’s been reining Robbie in, rather than having to push him.

“He will be pretty much the same (as Steven).”

Tarkowski spent time at St George’s Park with England the week after the season ended, before announcing his withdrawal from the stanby group to have surgery on an ongoinh hernia problem.

“I think we did it the right way,” said Beattie.

“We knew it needed doing but the gaffer said he wouldn’t pull someone out of the World Cup.

“It might be his only chance to go.

“He went along to England and was struggling a bit.

“He’s had it done and he should be absolutely fine for pre-season. He’s good.”

Mee missed the final seven games of the season with a stress injury at the bottom of his shin.

But Mee has now recovered, and Barnes’s shoulder injury, which forced him off in the penultimate game at Arsenal, has also settled down: “He feels brilliant now. It’s pain-free.

“He shouldn’t have a problem. He’s all good.

“Touch wood, we should have everyone in for pre-season.”

Burnley’s pre-season games schedule will open on Friday, July 13th at Cork City, as part of a five-day training camp.

Thursday, July 26th sees the Europa League second qualifying round, first leg, with the second leg on Thursday, August 2nd.