McCann back in training in a fortnight after operation

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CLARETS midfielder Chris McCann is expected to return to full training within a fortnight after a health scare.

McCann is close to a return after an operation to reconstruct his anterior cruciate knee ligament in the summer, but recently suffered repeatedly from migraines.

After tests, the 23-year-old underwent a head operation to remove excess fluid.

The minor procedure, which saw him stay overnight in hospital, was a success, and the Dubliner, is now back to full health and expected to join in full training within two weeks.

Burnley boss Eddie Howe said: “I wish Chris a very speedy recovery, and I am pleased he is not far away now from returning to full training.”

Meanwhile, aside from McCann and Martin Paterson, currently sidelined with a thigh problem, Howe has an otherwise fit squad to select from for tonight’s game at Cardiff.

New signing Charlie Austin missed the win at Watford on Saturday with a virus, but is expected to be available again.

Assistant boss Jason Tindall said yesterday morning: “Charlie will be back training today we hope.

“He had a virus all last week, which was unfortunate, especially being a new lad coming into the environment.

“You want to try to stay fit and be available, but unfortunately he picked up a virus and he was in a pretty bad way last week, so we’ll just assess him.

“But touch wood, the rest have all come through Saturday’s game okay.

“You get the odd little niggle here and there but there’s nothing to worry about.

“So far we’re okay and hopefully we have a fully fit squad to choose from.”

Chris Iwelumo stepped into the breach on Saturday at the expense of Austin, scoring his 11th goal of the season and turning in arguably his best performance for the club.

It was his first start under the new regime, and Tindall was delighted with the big Scot: “Big Chris has been excellent since day one of us arriving.

“He’s shown a fantastic attitude and came into the side again on Saturday and was excellent for us.

“He played a big part in the second goal, and he was in the right place at the right time for the third goal.

“We’re pleased for Chris because he’s been very patient and trained very hard and he got the rewards for that.

“It’s a squad game and you have to prepare in the right way whether you’re in the side or you’re not in the side, because at any moment you will get that opportunity and it’d important that when you do you come into the side and you perform very well.

“That’s exactly what Chris has done.”

Iwelumo was linked with a move away during the January transfer window, but Tindall admitted he is glad he stayed put: “When you’re a good player, like Chris in, then you’re obviously going to have interest.

“I’m sure there was quite a lot of interest in the big man. We were pleased that he didn’t go anywhere and decided to stay with us, and he’s going to play a big part in the future of the football club.”