Crouch set to return to Burnley squad for Everton clash

Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch

Striker Peter Crouch is available for Burnley's trip to Everton on Friday night.

The former Liverpool and England frontman has missed the last five games since having appendix surgery at the start of April.

The 38-year-old is yet to start a game for the Clarets, but has made five appearances from the bench since arriving from Stoke City in January.

Crouch is out of contract at the end of the season, but Sean Dyche has been pleased with his impact in and around the group, saying: “He was getting his teeth really into it, I thought he was coming on and being very effective in games.

“It was a real blow for him, but we’ll worry about all the rest of it as time goes by.

“He’s certainly done enough to be on our thinking about what he can do, the biggest thing for me, and I said it when he came in, was the desire, the edge players play with, and he’s certainly shown that.

“He’s come on and affected games, and worked hard to affect games, and you can see he has the competitive edge it takes to stay at the top level of anything."

Crouch could add to his attacking options at Goodison Park, and Dyche updated the media on his fitness: "I think Crouchy will come back into the thinking, he has trained last week and looked good and felt good.

"He certainly wants to be involved and it was me who didn't want to involve him (last weekend)."

Phil Bardsley will also return to the squad after missing the last four games with a gashed leg: "Bardo will come into the thinking as well. He has only had a couple of days training but it was a cut so no twists or strains."

However, Steven Defour and Aaron Lennon are not likely to feature before next season now: "Steven is a longer term situation, we're looking at him feeling right for next pre-season.

"Azza is doing great but he certainly won't make it for the Everton game and I think it is unlikely for Arsenal.

"I think he will be fit for Arsenal but he won't have had a game. He is just about on the cusp of training with us but he won't have had an action so it is unlikely that we will put him back into action so that we make sure that he is right."