Vokes on the verge of return
Burnley boss Sean Dyche has confirmed that striker Sam Vokes will make another appearance for the club’s Development Squad before he is considered for selection among the 18-man first team squad.
The 25-year-old, who has featured four times for the Under 21s since his comeback from a serious knee injury, has been pencilled in for an outing against Blackpool on Monday.
The Welshman shared 48 goals in all competitions with England Under 21 international Danny Ings in the Championship last term, and Dyche confirmed that a potential reunion may not be too far away.
“Vokesy is on his way back,” said Dyche, ahead of the trip to face Spurs at White Hart Lane tomorrow. “He got another 90 minutes in the other day so he’s right at the end of his transition back into the main first-team squad. We’re really pleased with that and he’s pleased with that.
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“In the grand scheme of things he’s not had four full games. If you’d finished one season and gone into the next you roughly have a three-month window and during that transition back into playing again you probably have a 45, 75 and minimum of three 90 minutes. That’s with normal shut-down.
“He’s had eight and a half months out and we’ve got to be mindful of that when you’re talking about true fitness and true ability to play in the first team.
“He’s going well, he’s feeling good and we’re really happy with that at this stage. He’s getting closer.”
Dyche acknowledges that last season’s player of the year will be chomping at the bit to get involved in Burnley’s Premier League campaign and has been delighted to see the striker back in action.
Vokes, who was sidelined for eight months, scored on his return in a 45-minute outing against Carlisle United last month and added a brace when playing 75 minutes in a 5-3 triumph over Sheffield United. The former Wolves frontman then played 90 minutes against Wigan Athletic last week and added another full fixture in the 9-1 thumping of Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday.
“It’s a long haul,” said Dyche. “I had a few long-term injuries and it’s difficult. You want to be involved all of the time and you know you can’t be.
“There’s a lot of individual work, a lot of loneliness. Luckily here, because of the environment we’ve got, you’re almost stumbling across people.
“He’s never felt like he’s not involved in it because there’s always some of the players around, the staff around.
“But true involvement is playing and I’m pleased for him that he’s back - at least playing - and now it’s moving on to the first team.”