Clarets boss Sean Dyche has received a huge boost ahead of tonight’s trip to Barnsley, with Danny Ings, Kieran Trippier and Dean Marney all back in the squad.
Ings has missed the last five games with an ankle sprain, while Trippier has sat out the last four with a hamstring tear, and Marney has completed a two-match suspension.
The trio return with six games remaining, with the Clarets holding a 10-point cushion as they look to follow promoted Leicester City into the Premier League, and Dyche said: “Tripps had another good weekend and has been on the grass all weekend so we’re considering him back in the group, and Ingsy has had another good few days on the grass so he comes back into consideration.”
Trippier was expected to return to fitness ahead of Ings, but the 25-goal Championship player of the year has made great progress after coming off hurt in the 3-3 draw at Birmingham four weeks ago: “We’ve just been monitoring it through the specialists and the physio, and he’s a person, so we ask him how he’s feeling.
“He said ‘I’m feeling great’.
“He looks after himself anyway, which is always a good thing when players are injured.
“He’s been chomping at the bit, same with Kieran, so we’ve had to make sure because we’re going into an important part of the season. We couldn’t just throw people back in willy-nilly and risk them.
“So it’s good that he’s feeling good in his body and his mind, and he certainly is at the moment.”
David Jones came off late on at Watford on Saturday, but Dyche revealed he is also expected to be available: “It was a strange one with David, he just felt under the weather but he’s fine now, and Dean Marney is back from suspension.”
Dyche accepts he has some welcome selection headaches with his squad almost up to full strength again - only missing Sam Vokes, who will be a long-term absentee after rupturing his anterior cruciate knee ligament.
Chris Baird has performed admirably in Trippier’s absence, and Dyche said: “I think there are a few and I think that’s a great position to be in.
“It’s been a funny two-week period where we got stretched to the max and had two games in that period, came out of it, and now all of a sudden it looks different again, it looks like players are coming back into the fold and all of a sudden we have got numbers.
“To have those three players - in a squad the size of ours three makes a big difference.
“Of course Sam Vokes is unfortunately longer term, but we are looking stronger and the great sign for me is that physically we look so strong again at an important time of the season. The players are willing to go harder and harder. They’re just relentless in what they’re achieving, physically. And if that’s right we’ve got the quality to back that up.
“Players keep laying down markers, but within that there are players who have done a fine job for a lot of games and I think there’s always that feeling towards the players who have done that because they’ve earned the right.
“I think everyone’s respectful of that within the group, but it’s great to see the players laying down markers - when they get that chance they’re going strong for the team.”