The Iceman returneth!
Clarets boss Sean Dyche has had some good news on the injury front ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton.
Midfielder Steven Defour has trained all week after recovering from a knock to his thigh, suffered in the 1-0 win at home to Stoke City.
And wideman Johann Berg Gudmundsson is closing in on a return after completing 90 minutes, scoring twice, in a 2-2 draw for the development squad with Derby County’s Under-23 side at the Barnfield Training Centre on Tuesday.
Dyche said: “Johann came through alright, it was a steady game, nothing major, but it was good to see him come through intact.
“He felt fine, and we’ll see how he feels moving forward, but he probably needs another game.
“The team is working very hard so he almost needs to be overly fit at this stage of the season.
“But he’s training properly and it’s good news.”
Gudmundsson hasn’t played since a poor challenge in the FA Cup defeat against Lincoln City in February caused a medial knee ligament problem: “Every time he’s got back in and around it, it seems he’s picked up an injury.
“It wasn’t a good challenge, but maybe the injuries are part of adapting to what it is and the level – it is more intense and faster in the Premier League.”
And Defour is expected to return to the squad at Goodison Park: “Steven has come through this week and we’re expecting him to be in contention.
“He’s had a good week’s training.
“It was more a heavy dead leg, but he is back to full mobility now.”
The only other injury problem is long-term absentee Dean Marney, who is recovering from a cruciate knee ligament problem suffered in January at Arsenal: “Deano is going well. He obviously still has a long way to go, but mentally he is in a good place and he has at least been there before.”
Burnley face an Everton side looking for their eighth-successive home win tomorrow, but Dyche admits that doesn’t change the scale of their challenge: “Whenever you go to the upper end of the market, most have very good home form. There are some strange anomalies sometimes, like Chelsea last season, but generally they are very strong, particularly at home.
“It’s nothing we overthink, we’ll just go there and take the game on as we have done.”
And in Romelu Lukaku, Burnley take on the 23-goal Premier League top-scorer: “They’re far from a one-man team. He is a very good player, but obviously strikers get most of the headlines, and rightly so.”
Burnley sit eight points clear of the drop zone with six games to play, but Dyche isn’t switching off any time soon: “You can never guarantee it until its done, so I think our focus is on every game as it comes. We’ve maintained that with the players.
“Still more work to be done, because you want to take care of your own business, we’ve given ourselves a good base position to do that, so it’s important we do that now, and that’s the focus.”