Dyche delighted with striker Barnes' progress

Ashley Barnes
Ashley Barnes
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Striker Ashley Barnes is making good progress as he steps up his fitness, according to boss Sean Dyche.

Barnes suffered cruciate and medial knee ligament damage in the final game of last season, but has battled back and played 45 minutes in a development squad game against Preston North End last Tuesday, before stepping up to 75 minutes on Monday against a visiting American university team this week, scoring in a 10-1 win.

And Dyche said: “Ash is doing ever so well.

“He’s still on his games programme to get back to full fitness."

Barnes will look to come through a full 90 minutes at least once now, before being considered for first team action, but, with two months or so of the season remaining, he could well be available as Burnley look to seal a return to the Premier League, where the former Brighton man hit five goals last term.

Midfielder Dean Marney, who also came through a cruciate injury last season, came off the bench after a niggling calf problem at Fulham on Tuesday night, and Dyche added: “Marns is virtually there now.

"We’d still like him to have a development game, which will probably be next week, but he’s certainly fit enough to be considered and in the squad."